Pro-gay hacking of official Nigerian website not helpful

paddyhack2An Irish computer hacker’s attack on a Nigerian government website in pursuit of LGBT rights didn’t help the cause.

Instead, it bolstered Nigerian officials’ belief that the concept of LGBT rights is an  intrusion from abroad, rather than something inseparable from the basic human rights that every Nigerian should be guaranteed.

After the Nigerian Ministry of Information restored its website today, it stated:

The attacks are a criminal attempt to blackmail countries which have resisted pressures by homosexuals to legalize gay marriages as is practiced in some countries to do same. …

Those seeking to impose gay rights from abroad are advised to stick to legal and constitutional means of expressing their opinions as government will not condone criminal violations of our laws by any group in the guise of promoting gay rights in the country.

Pink News reported:

An Irish hacker opposed to Nigeria’s stance on homosexuality, has attacked the country’s official government website in protest of the “anti-gay” bill which seeks to further criminalise gay people.

The attack happened on Thursday night and normal service only returned to the site several hours later.

The Irish “hacktivist”, Paddy Hack, posted to Twitter last night: “I’ve allowed http://Nigeria.gov.ng to come back to full service for now…Don’t think that I can’t come and go as I please.” …

A message left on the hacked website gave the president 72 hours to “renounce and veto this Bill.”

“Failure to follow our order will unleash a torrent of fury aimed directly at the direction of your administration, starting with some startling but unsurprising evidence of corruption in your ranks,” the message continued.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (Photo by Ricardo Stuckert via Wikimedia Commons)
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (Photo by Ricardo Stuckert via Wikimedia Commons)

The attack by “Paddy Hack”  was in response to the so-called “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill,” which has passed both Nigeria’s Senate and House, but has not been signed by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.  The bill would provide up to a 14-year prison sentences for people in same-sex marriages and up to 10 years in prison for people who work for LGBT rights and for public displays of same-sex affection.

This is the full statement by the Federal Ministry of Information:

The Federal Ministry of Information has fought off the attack on Nigeria’s National Portal last night by a group of gay rights activists.

The Federal Ministry of Information is taking additional measures to stem future attacks by hackers whose criminal activities are on the increase globally in recent times.

The attackers were traced to the same group that recently attacked several countries’ government websites across the world claiming to be fighting for gay rights.

The attacks are a criminal attempt to blackmail countries which have resisted pressures by homosexuals to legalize gay marriages as is practiced in some countries to do same.

While we recognize that Nigeria is a full-fledged democracy with robust guarantee of freedom of opinion by all citizens, it is criminal for anyone within or outside our country to use criminal means to express or canvass such opinions! The Fed Ministry of Information will liaise with security agencies to investigate last night’s attack.

Nigeria is a highly cultured and religious society whose people remain overwhelmingly opposed to the imposition of gay rights and gay marriages as practised in some countries.

Those seeking to impose gay rights from abroad are advised to stick to legal and constitutional means of expressing their opinions as government will not condone criminal violations of our laws by any group in the guise of promoting gay rights in the country.

Security checks have been stepped up on the National Portal to block all the loopholes exploited to launch last night’s attack.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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