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Bella Naija’s Promotion of Gay Rights using Matthew Blaise by Tony Ademiluyi

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Tony Ademiluyi
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bella naija

The advent of the internet, social media, and new media threw up some champions in the Nigerian entrepreneurial media space. Before the advent of the aforementioned eras, you needed to either be a money bag or have the financial backing of one to emerge as a major player in the media space.

The disruption by the internet came and the rest they say is history. Bella Naija owned by Mrs. Uche Pedro nee Eze, a Canadian returnee is one of such beneficiaries.

As a lifestyle blog with a bias for softshell news, it has a ready-made, large audience among many Nigerian youths who use their hard-earned data to ‘waste’ their lives away by consuming all manner of junk in the name of news online.

One such junk that was peddled by Bella Naija was the reportage of the starring of Nigerian-born gay rights activist, Matthew Blaise and the interview he granted on Moda Culture – a magazine’s February issue.

What wouldn’t these blogs do to gain traffic even if it means pushing out information that harms the health of their readers?

Blaise was described as a champion for social justice in Nigeria and abroad – apparently, he is one of the numerous asylum seekers whose only claim to asylum is through their sexual minority status and claims of ‘persecution’ by a homophobic Nigerian or African mob.

How many misguided and impressionable youths would now see gay rights activism as their way out of poverty and obscurity? How many would view it as the only meal ticket to a lifetime of opportunities to attend conferences, and seminars on human rights abroad and probably have their NGOs generously funded?

Ever since the liberals lost in all African legislatures excluding South Africa, there has been an agenda to push it aggressively in the media space using social media and the new media since the world has long gone digital and Africa hasn’t been left behind despite the infrastructural challenges. Many African youths consume content on popular platforms like Bella Naija making them an attractive destination for the berthing of all manner of pro-LGBTQ content to be strategically placed on their platform as it will guarantee millions of views – it is pure commerce and nothing more.

I am of the school of thought for the regulation of social media as we cannot allow subversive content by our foreign adversaries on our popular platforms in the name of ‘liberty.’

I have written in favour of this position in a national newspaper sometime last year and I reiterate its call as there is the need to bring sanity into our online media space especially as minors now have unrestricted access to the internet – we need to adequately protect their health most especially their mental health as what they consume online could easily deform them and cause them to make poorly informed decisions.

There is a law on Nigerian soil that criminalizes same-sex relationships. Why should these foreign interests and their treacherous local minions be openly and brazenly opposing that law in a manner that smirks at treason using the new media?

The government should urgently set up a commission to thoroughly regulate social media and pro-LGBTQ content shouldn’t be allowed on the Nigerian online media space in a similar way that China blocked the likes of Facebook and Twitter for their local social media to grow. Today, Tik Tok is giving Facebook a run for its money to the extent that Facebook which made a pledge not to charge for any of its services is now being forced to charge $12 monthly for the blue badge verification – a testimony to the immense power of competition backed by a visionary government that looks out for the interests of her citizens. Weibo is far more profitable than Twitter because of the government protection that allowed the former exponentially develop.

Is it not high time that Nigeria – the so-called Giant of Africa with all her tech geeks create and export homegrown social media for better political and economic mileage, especially in this era where fossil fuels are fast becoming obsolete which may precipitate a major economic crisis if we don’t swiftly respond to it? Why must we be a dumping ground for all manner of poisonous liberal ideologies?

As Nigeria heads to the polls on Saturday, please vote for reasonable and visionary leaders who can translate these wonderful ideas into reality so that we don’t continue being a mere whipping boy of the liberal west perpetually caught in the middle.

Chief Editorial Curator


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