Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies, on Monday, got perhaps the harshest words from fans after he critically blogged about Nigeria’s anti gay law on his Virgin blog.
Mr. Branson on his blog said it is too sad to learn that Nigeria at this age passed a law to put gays behind bars – “just for being gays” – for 14 years. Branson, like other popular Brits, including the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, have openly condemned Nigeria’s anti gay stand even at the risk of the anger of Nigerians who popularly support the law.
“Like everyone else in society, gay people have an enormous amount to offer and Nigeria should embrace them not prosecute them,” Mr. Branson who ones owned Nigeria’s national airline said. “All of us with influence in Nigeria must do what we can to stop this cruel law. I would urge educated Nigerians all over the world to do what they can to help fight this discrimination.”
He described the law as “sad, repressive and cruel” but his did not go down well with his Nigerian fans sparking verbal war of sought between Nigerians and Brits on his blog.
Sir Branson was not also spared as fans verbally attacked his personality.
“He claim to support gay yet he’s married with kids. As much as I love your person I think you’ve crossed the line here. Mind your own business! Efe-Ogege Olusegun Cfr said.
“Uncle Richard, you got it wrong this time. It’s a clear mandate from the Nigerians- meaning they don’t want gay. if you really care about Nigeria, there are various issues in the country that you and the so called educated Nigeria attend to not the gay law,” Eagle-Eye GP, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University replied on the blog.
“Sir Richard Branson, Nigeria just like every other African country has chosen to do what we think is best for us and we owe no one apologies for it,” Adedeji Adedoyin, commented on the blog-post.
“It is really sad that SRB would give support to an immoral act,” Shomoye Taiwo, another follower of the blog responded.
“U guys should leave us (Nigerians) alone. We don’t support and need gay marriage in our nation,” another respondent said.
The Nigerian senate, last week, passed a law prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage. The law provides that gay couples entering into either marriage or cohabitation will be jailed for up to 14 years.
“If there is any country that does not want to give us aid on account of this anti-gay law, it should keep its aid,” – David Mark, Nigerian Senate President has repeatedly said in face of foreign criticism of the law he personally oversaw.