The Western World seems to have solved, in their countries, many of the problems presently confronting us in Africa and other states in the global south. We are dealing with the challenges of corruption, poverty, hunger, disease, acute malnutrition, mention them. It does not even seem as if we are dealing with these challenges. It is better to say we are living with them since our government are not making realistic efforts at addressing them. This is not to say the Western World do not have some of these challenges. They have them; but they are not serious issues that merit mention during political campaigns to woo electorate. Yet, no society is free from one form of challenge or the other.
The major challenge in the Western World is gay challenge. Lesbian challenge. Queer challenge. Transgender challenge. Bisexual challenge. These are, of course, ridiculous challenges. But ridiculous or not ridiculous, a challenge is a challenge.
Don’t get me wrong. Some Nigerians are also into these bestial practices. The good news is that culture and religion are stoutly on ground to deny them breathing space. It is true that these amoral and degrading practices suffer institutional and legal support in Nigeria, yet, and unfortunately, they still manage to breathe. We still find a handful of gays, lesbians, and transgender in our communities. Sad!
If there is any battle field between LGBTQ and LIGHT, I think the battle field is Nigeria. Though our religiosity has a blend of hypocrisy as many would argue, I still believe many Nigerians will fight tooth and nail against the darkness LGBTQ represents. It will not become a norm; at least in the life time of those of us still living. I am afraid, because the rate at which this darkness (LGBTQ) is spreading is dangerously alarming. All hands must be on deck.
Being combat-ready against the infiltration of this darkness (LGBTQ) under any guise, it was not surprising to me when, two days ago, I listened to an eminent sheikh, a highly respected Islamic scholar (name withheld), lamenting about the content of a famous book called Queen Primer. Virtually every literate Nigerian parent with kids in school knows Queen Primer. My kids used it; and the little ones are currently using it. What is wrong with Queen Primer? The simple answer is: “It promotes homosexualism.” “It promotes gayness.”
But this answer is too simplistic. I understand why many religious Nigerians will aggressively quip even, if simplistically, with such answer to the question above.
Many have lost hope of coming out of Nigerian hardship and poverty. The only hope for Nigerian masses—I mean the religious category—is to meet God well. In the midst of all this, a book is teaching our kids: “Let Us Be Gay.” This must be rejected consciously and vehemently. We cannot be gay and expect to meet God well. There is no dispute about this among religious scholars who derive knowledge from revealed books (whether Christians or Muslims). Gay or gayness is evil—in and of itself. All genetical explanations to defend gays are both satanic and deceptive.
That said, even if Queen Primer promotes homosexualism, it is difficult to establish that its author(s) wrote it deliberately to promote this unnatural tendency and sexual corruption. Here is the controversial line among other lines. It says on pages 5 and 22 of book 2:
I can run and play in the hay.
May I go to-day? Do not say nay.
Ben and Tom may jump in the hay.
Is this the way? Yes, let us be gay.
Having in mind the fact this book was first published in the 1800s in London (about two hundred years ago) by Nelson and Sons, it is rational to conclude that the use of “gay” in the above line is innocuous—harmless, inoffensive, innocent, and safe—considering the age it was published. “Gay” in its dated meaning means “happy.” In that age when the line was first written it means “Is this the way? Yes, let us be happy.” Reading the now problematic line along with the preceding lines, it is easy to argue that “gay” means “happy” because of the flow. If “gay” means homosexual in that lines, it affects the flow and renders it meaningless.
Yet teachers must be careful. When I first listened to the Sheikh referenced above, I was pissed off just like him. My heart was beating fast—plumbing the grotesque adjectives to qualify Queen Primer. I asked my wife if she noticed it while teaching the kids. I called my sister if she had been teaching innocent kids “Let Us Be Gay.” She answered in the affirmative but remarked that she did not read any serious negative meaning to it. The learning objective, she explained, is just to teach two, three, and four letter words. This is how many of us (teachers) innocently teach innocent pupils what they ought not be taught. Some of these books must be vetted for possible toxins. They need to be detoxified if found poisonous or completely abandoned. They are clear case of Boko Haram.
While “gay” as appears in Queen Primer is arguably not deliberately meant to corrupt our kids, it is not so with many other books recommended for use in our primary and secondary schools. Sometime last year Sonnie Ekwowusi took his time to give several examples of lewdness in many of the primary and secondary text books used in our schools in his widely read article titled “The Case Against Sex Education.” Can you imagine our kids being thought 2 condoms + 3 condoms= 5 condoms? What about condom relay race activity involving adolescent boys and girls in our secondary school text books? Now and again, kids in their most impressionable age of five and six are taught “Let Us Be Gay.” This is calamitous—to say the least.
The consequence? Kids will grow up into adulthood seeing nothing wrong with homosexualism because it has been wired consciously or unconsciously into their psyches at an impressionable age when they are most receptive to anything—good or bad. We must all stand up against immorality anywhere it is seen or noticed. When our kids are immoralized, the family is severely and unrepairably damaged. And like Sonnie Ekwowusi concluded his article; “ Our civilization is imperilled when families are imperilled.”
Back to Queen Primer, that line that reads “Let Us Be Gay” has been edited in subsequent reprint. To be precise, in the 2010 Reprint or Edition, the word “gay” has been replaced with “guy.” So, it reads: “Let Us Be Guy.” But this is on page 5. On the revision page (page 22). What we have again is “Let Us Be Gay.” That is to say, Queen Primer is not safe for our kids to learn two, three, and four letter words. Teachers, schools, and parents should reject it.
On the last note, Queen Primer was used by the colonialists to colonize our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandparents. Isn’t it high time we had Emir or Sarki Primer, Oba Primer, and Igwe or Obi Primer? Please I don’t mean to say Peter Obi. Is it that we do not have enough Nigerian writers and authors or we are just being stupidly and umbilically attached to our former colonialists? It is obviously the latter. Let’s wake up.
Breaking News: As I was about to send this article for publication, I received a news item that the Kano State Government has officially directed the withdrawal of some certain toxic textbooks from all schools in the State due to their harmful contents. This is proactiveness. Kudos! Other unserious governments will rather set up committees to investigate what is glaring.