In an interview with Laila and Falz, Donald Duke said: “I don’t understand the emotional feelings a gay person would have toward someone of their sexuality. I don’t understand it. But I would not criminalise them. I would ensure that they have the protection of the law. But if they want to exhibit their sexuality, then that’s an affront on the current norms of society.”
He, however, retracted from his statement following a public backlash from Nigerians who took his comment to mean he might rescind the law criminalizing homosexuality if elected into office.
Duke released a statement yesterday saying 'Homosexuality is a crime in Nigeria and ought to remain so'.
Reacting to Donald Duke's clarification, Eunice Atuejide expressed her disappointment at the former governor for not taking a firm stance against the anti-gay law.
She wrote: "You see ehn, when I watched Donald Duke with Folarin 'Falz' Falana and Laila Johnson-Salami on @onthecouchnaija I was so proud of him. Today, I feel awfully ashamed of him.
"In fact, the only area he actually made sense while on the couch was when he discussed criminalising homosexuality in Nigeria. I drew strength from his views, and felt more confident about my approach to the topic.
"Today, when I saw his retraction, I lost the little respect I had started to develop for the man - Donald Duke.
"Dear Donald Duke, we must state our opinions clearly, and when we have done so, we must stand by them no matter whose oxes are gored!
"How else do you Mr. Donald Duke hope to assure the electorates that your word is your bond?! ?
"Homosexuality may be immoral, unacceptable, embarrassing etc, but it is not a crime!
"Nobody gets hurt when two or more fully consenting adults indulge in same sex activities. We can criminalise public displays, but certainly not whatever fully consenting adults are doing in the privacy of their homes, offices, hotels etc.
"They are HUMANS. And EVERY human being has a fundamental right to the protection of their privacy.
"Let's please read or re-read the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are ALL equal under the laws of this land because we are HUMANS!
"And all laws in Nigeria which contravene the Constitution are null and void to the extent of that contradiction.
"Prison because one is homosexual runs foul of our Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act and our Constitution. Shikena!"