#NigeriaAt55: Nigerian Gay Activists Protest In London

 Scores of Nigerian gay activists living in London, the UK, stormed the Nigerian High Commission on Wednesday, September 30.
Aderonke Apata

The activists, who also staged a protest, wanted to pass on to President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government the over 65,000 signatures they were able to gather demanding Nigeria to repeal its anti-gay law.

According to the protestors, Nigeria has one of the harshest anti-gay laws out of the 76 countries that currently criminalize LGBTI people.

Aderonke Apata, the author of the petition, recalled all hardships she came through while living in Nigeria.

“Since the insidious 2014 anti-LGBTI law was passed in Nigeria, there have been waves of police arrests and torture, anti-LGBTI mob attacks, public whippings, evictions from homes, harassment and discrimination against ‘suspected’ LGBTIs. Equality advocacy organisations and activists in Nigeria are not spared mistreatment.

“Growing up in Nigeria, I was unable to disclose my sexuality, yet unable to hide it. The culture in Nigeria makes it clear that being gay or transgender is a sin, a sentiment that is fuelled by homophobic messages from faith communities, political leaders, families, and schools. I took these messages in, identified with them, and carried the shame of being a lesbian woman in Nigeria. I was arrested, tortured and extorted by the Nigerian police. I demand a repeal of this toxic law,” she said.

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