Anti-Gay Law: Canada Denies Cancelling Jonathan’s State Visit
The media had been awash with reports of the cancellation of the President’s visit to Canada, but the Canadian Counselor in Abuja, Ms. Alexandra Mackenzie in an interview with a newspaper correspondent said there was no scheduled visit of Jonathan to the country.
Mackenzie said, “Canada and Nigeria enjoy shared interest in expanding opportunities for economic, social and security cooperation between our two countries.
“No visit is scheduled. However, we look forward to the opportunities of welcoming President Goodluck Jonathan to Canada at a future date.”
It was however gathered that the two countries had for some time been exploring diplomatic channels to arrange a visit for President Jonathan to Canada before he signed the anti-gay law.
A source in government, who spoke in confidence said, “It is true that the two countries are working towards the visit of President Jonathan to Canada, but the arrangement has not been concluded. You cannot cancel a visit that has not been scheduled. The arrangement is still on but no date has been fixed.”
Jonathan on January 7 assented to the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 which criminalises same-sex relationships in the country.
On January 14 when it became public that the president had signed the bill into law, the Canadian government openly expressed concerns over the law.
It said the country would continue to speak against the criminalisation of gay marriage.
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