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Jul 11 2014

Video: LGBT Rights activists demonstrates at Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK

Speaking during the demonstration, Yemisi Ilesanmi said:

We are here to speak out on behalf of all oppressed Nigerian LGBTs who have been denied a voice in Nigeria. We are here to put a face on Nigerian LGBTs. We are here to remind you that LGBT Nigerians are not criminals and are worthy of celebration. We are here to remind all those who criminalised us and are turning us into asylum seekers that we will not be silenced. We are LGBT Nigerians and we are proud.”

The demonstrators left the guests with the message “Nigerian LGBTS and LGBT rights supporters are not criminals and we will not be silenced in our fight for our human rights. We hope as Nigeria celebrates its hundred years of existence, its people will also celebrate diversity and do away with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic laws.”

Blogpost  linkhttp://wp.me/p3uryi-AZ

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Jul 02 2014

Pride is a Celebration and a Protest: London Pride, 2014

This year at London Pride 2014 (June 28), my group, Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same-Sex Laws marched alongside Peter Tatchell Foundation, Out and Proud Group and other African LGBTIs activists to protest against the persecution of LGBTs in 80 per cent of the 53 Commonwealth member states, many of them African nations.

It is saddening that 80% of Commonwealth countries discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex (LGBTI) people. In this age of democracy, every progressive nation should endeavour to protect the human rights of every citizen. No one is less of a human being because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Acknowledging and protecting LGBTI rights as human rights is a step forward for humanity. It is shameful that the Commonwealth of Nations has not taken this important step. We continue to call on the Commonwealth to stand up for the rights of its LGBTI citizens. Every human deserves human rights. LGBTI rights are human rights.

Pride is both a celebration and a Protest. As we celebrate our Rights, let’s remember those who are still criminalized for their sexual orientation.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of London Pride 2014.

 

 

Even though the weather wasn’t great, not even the rain could rain on our parade, the rainbow always shines through!

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London Pride was Fun!

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African LGBTs were proudly represented by Nigerian and Ugandan LGBT activists at London Pride! The support from the crowd was awesome. Thanks lovely people for cheering us on!

 

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Not even the rain could rain on our parade, the rainbow always shines through!.

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With my humanists brothers and sisters at London Pride! Gay Jesus had fun at London Pride too!

 

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Proudly Beautiful Bisexuals!                                                   My New Nigerian Friend!

 

 

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Oh, the queens! The Queen came to London Pride to check out the competition from other queens!

 

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Love is a Human Right!

 

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Colour Me Pride Fun!

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Jun 30 2014

Nigerian atheist Mubarak Bala held hostage in a psychiatric ward for renouncing Islam and non belief in God

FREE MUBARAK Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian and an atheist is being held hostage in a psychiatry ward at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria on the orders of his father Bala Mohammed. Mubarak’s father is a prominent weekly columnist who writes a Saturday column for Daily Trust, a National Newspaper. Bala Mohammed committed his son to a psychiatric unit when his son expressed  non belief in God and renounced Islam.

I gathered from reliable sources, including sources from within the Daily Trust  Newspaper, that the extremism of Mubarak’s father’s was becoming apparent and some staff members were concerned about the appalling way he was treating his son whose public declaration of atheism and renunciation of Islam on social media seems to have attracted attention in Kano.

My source was shocked when a contact that is very close to the Publisher of Daily Trust said they were aware of the case and have been aware of Bala Mohamed’s growing extremism and the appalling way he committed his son to a psychiatry ward for renouncing Islam. However the paper refused to carry the story because of the controversy it would generate and a fear of reprisal.

It was said that the story of Mubarak Bala’s renunciation of slam and non belief in God was becoming a topic of discussion on the streets of Kano. This was of interest because Bala Mohammed is a former DG of Adaida Ta Sahu, a sharia enlightenment youth vanguard in Kano. Therefore his son renouncing Islam and declaring that there is no God is a source of embarrassment to him. I am however surprised that the newspaper has refused to publish the story because of fear of reprisals.

Mubarak Bala tweeted and sent messages to his twitter contacts about his ordeal. He wrote:

“This is Mubarak, (@mubarakbala) the Ex-Muslim from the Shari’ah State of Kano, Nigeria. I can only reach you today because I have been sedated (tranquilized) with an injection administered on those who are mentally unstable. After being beaten to pulp, and choked by the neck until I passed out, (asphyxia), by my Dad and 3 of his male brothers. It was friday evening, just waking up to see myself in a psychiatric hospital, among mad-men. The family had long been threatening my life.”

”Now, I woke up only to realize their new doctor has prescribed drugs and injections for me as a psycho patient, on false account that I have been deluded telling people am a senator and governor and minister, so appallingly absurd! It is the same Doctor that told me last week on a ‘mock’ therapy, that ‘everyone needs God’), eventhough another doctor who studied in Russia had 6 months ago told them Atheism is not a mental disease, and gave me a clean bill of health… they were obviously disappointed, so they opted to a more conservative one, who studied in Egypt”.

“What I fear is; the injections and drugs have started shifting my facial orientation and affecting my speech and reasoning, my hands are now shivering on their own. It may end-up ruining my brain, my life, and if I am helpless and discharged home, they could fake something like my suicide, to rid themselves of the scum, they have been threatening such, ever since I declared openly I’m an Ex Muslim”

“Indeed declaring oneself an ex Muslim in a place like Kano is like passing a death sentence oneself.”

“you may be aware of the Islamist Bala Muhammad of saturday column of WeeklyTrust newspapers, that’s my Dad; the DG of A Daidaita Sahu, the other arm of Sharia enforcement in Kano state.”

“My Dad keeps saying; whoever among his children abandons Islam is no longer a human being, but a monster. You can read it online, on his column, www.weeklytrust.com/saturdaycolumn, some 25 weeks ago: Titled ’10 reasons to turn off your TV’.

“I realized my Dad has already made a post in my name, with the phone, to my friends on facebook, posting the Shahada (testimony of faith in Islam), on the same night, which further implies it was never about my health, but family honor”.

“Please disturb my fathers line +2348036298833 until he knows I’m smart and no freedom for hims as well, as long as I’m here. Whatsapp or SMS”

It is sad that Bala Mohammed who is an educated person with a degree would consider non belief in God a sign of mental illness. it is very disturbing that a father would commit his son to a mental institution for renouncing his religion.

Legal representation

It is of great concern that the lawyer who is hired to defend Mubarak Bala seems to be defending the actions of Mubarak’s father. He is passing it off as ‘Protective custody’ and actually thinks his (Mubarak) father putting him in a ward is a way of protecting Mubarak from Islam extremists who might harm him for renouncing Islam and claiming that there is no God. This lawyer does not seem equipped to deal with this type of case.

As my source stated:

I have the feeling that Mubarak’s lawyer, Mohammed Bello Fagge, is not totally in the picture of the state of the young man. In my interaction with him, he seemed to suggest that his (Mubarak) detention at the psychiatric ward of the teaching hospital was “protective custody” to avoid him being killed by Islamic extremists. He also said that his father is also using the excuse that he has a psychiatric problem to shield his son (Mubarak), himself and family members from attack, especially as a former DG of Adaida Ta Sahu, a sharia enlightenment youth vanguard in Kano.

The lawyer also confirmed that Dr. Minjibir, the Russian trained medical doctor, examined Mubarak but that his opinion is not admissible as a private practitioner. He admitted that he is making arrangements for Mubarak to be re-examined, although he didn’t say where and when. Dr Minjibir’s number and that of the hospital were not going through.

The hospital has released a Press Statement confirming that Mubarak is in their custody. This was reported in the Weekly Trust.  It reads:

 AKTH denies holding Kano patient ‘captive’

Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano yesterday issued a press statement concerning a patient of theirs who has over the past week made news on social media after he alleged that he was held captive by his parents in the hospital for denouncing Islam and the existence of God.

The management of the hospital said they have a patient by the name of Mubarak Bala, who is suffering from a “challenging psychiatric condition which needed close treatment and supervision”.

Mubarak took to Twitter to and said his father and brother had put him in detention at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital psychiatric ward. He called on different international organizations and the public to come to his rescue.
The hospital, however, in its statement said Mubarak’s nutritional needs were fully taken care of contrary to his claims that he was heavily sedated and not fed.

The hospital also clarified that a lawyer hired by an organisation was around to see and talk to him. “The lawyer is in contact with Mubarak and has had discussions with him. His stay in the hospital is purely on medical grounds and with the consent of his family. We have no reason to keep him beyond necessary,” the hospital’s statement said.
At the time of filing this report, the family was yet to speak concerning the issue.

The hospital seemed happy to mention that the lawyer is in contact with their patient. I wonder if this means they do not feel threatened that the lawyer is involved because of a perceived support from the lawyer.

Since a fundraising is being organised to raise fund for the “expensive fees” the lawyer is charging and I assume, atheist MUBARAKorganisations and individuals are willing to donate to this fund, it would be good to have a lawyer who is an experienced and respected human right lawyer/activist. This case needs a fiery and passionate lawyer who is not afraid to call a press conference to speak out against the degrading treatment and human rights violations Mubarak Bala is currently subjected to.

I hope that one of the many Nigerian respected human rights lawyers and activists would take up this case on humanitarian ground. Similar cases have been handled by top human right lawyers sometimes without charging fees. I should know, i have benefited from free legal representation from Nigeria’s topmost human rights lawyer Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) and Barrister Femi Falana (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) during my various detentions under the draconian reign of Nigeria’s military junta.

A press conference needs to be called by foremost human rights lawyers and activists immediately. This might make a whole difference to whether or not Mubarak Bala lives a second longer. Simply put, his life hangs in the balance and a nationwide Press conference by respected human right lawyers and activists could make a whole world of difference.

The case of the former first lady of Enugu state, Mrs. Clara Chime, comes to mind. Clara Chime was held hostage in the government house by her husband, Governor Sullivian Chime who attempted to justify the illegality by alleging that his wife has “a medical challenge.  A press conference by Barrister Femi Falana and a real threat of a legal action helped get the former first lady out of forced custody. Bala Mohammed could do with such help right now.

This is  a case Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) needs to investigate and act on. Justice should not be for the rich alone!

There is a #Freemubarak hashtag on twitter and a FreeMubarak Petition, kindly help get the message out and save the life of this young man.

Jun 28 2014

LGBT Rights activists demonstrates at Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK

LGBT Rights activists demonstrates at Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK

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Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same-Sex laws with the support of GALHA, London Black Atheists and other LGBT activists staged a demonstration at the venue of Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK.

The demonstration took place on the eve of London Pride, Friday 27 at Waltham Forest Town Hall, Walthamstow, London.  Standing outside the venue of the awards, the lgbt/Human rights activists unequivocally condemned the Anti-Lgbt law which stipulates 14 years jail term for Nigerian gays, Bisexuals and Transgender and 10 years imprisonment for anyone who supports LGBTS or advocates for LGBT rights.

At the entrance of the venue, the activists peacefully engaged guests on the importance of equal rights. They also used the occasion to chastise the lawmaker, Hon. Abike Dabiri, for her homophobic support of the 14 years jail term for Nigerian gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders.

The demonstrators spoke against the criminalisation of sexual minorities and Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition law.  They urged the guests to remember the many Nigerians who are made homeless, beaten up on the streets and jailed for their sexual orientation.

The Nigerian Centenary Awards UK was organised to celebrate 100 years of the amalgamation of Nigeria (1914-2014) and also give awards to 100 outstanding Nigerians in the UK.  The organiser of the protest, Yemisi Ilesanmi, said the demonstrators are not against the awards but sees it as an opportunity to raise awareness on the criminalisation of Nigerian LGBTs and protest the attendance of homophobic law maker, Hon Abike Dabiri. She said the ‘Jail the gays’ law has turned many Nigerian LGBTs into asylum seekers and urged every Nigerian to embrace equality for all.

Speaking during the demonstration, Yemisi Ilesanmi said:

We are here to speak out on behalf of all oppressed Nigerian LGBTs who have been denied a voice in Nigeria. We are here to put a face on Nigerian LGBTs. We are here to remind you that LGBT Nigerians are not criminals and are worthy of celebration. We are here to remind all those who criminalised us and are turning us into asylum seekers that we will not be silenced. We are LGBT Nigerians and we are proud.”

The lgbt activists chanted “Equal rights for gay Nigerians, Equal rights for everyone” while engaging guests in discussion on equality and LGBT rights.

The demonstrators left the guests with the message “Nigerian LGBTS and LGBT rights supporters are not criminals and we will not be silenced in our fight for our human rights. We hope as Nigeria celebrates its hundred years of existence, its people will also celebrate diversity and do away with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic laws.”

 

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Jun 02 2014

Shocking and depressing migration attempts

It was shocking and depressing watching the video coverage of African men as they attempt to migrate to Europe on-board a 1squalid boat, in highly dangerous situation. Their boat engine developed a fault, they were found after two days drifting in the sea without food. They were arrested and squashed together in a horrible small cell. They were the lucky ones. Many had died trying to cross the sea illegally into Europe. Many will still die attempting the dangerous voyage.

BBC reports

The number of people attempting the dangerous sea crossing from North Africa to Italy has risen sharply, says Frontex, the EU border agency.

Quentin Sommerville gained exclusive access to one group, detained by the Libyan authorities while trying to make the crossing.

Some people may find his report from the city of Misrata distressing.

Well, I didn’t just find it distressing; I find it highly depressing and shocking.

What are African leaders doing? The politicians obviously do not care at all about the conditions their African brothers and sisters live in. It is these very conditions that force many Africans to flee their continent, sometimes employing life threatening methods just to get away. Wars, poverty and desperation continue to push people towards dangerous escape routes.

The BBC video reported that

“In fact they need even more body bags for the numbers of dead migrants they are retrieving here from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. “

“It is so full of bodies of dead migrants it is hard to jam the door closed. Once there was only three a year now it is eight a week.”

“The men knew they are not welcome but the promise of jobs and work, they say, is better than what they leave behind”

“A truck is found with a forced compartment, inside were hardly able to breathe two dozen men, one carries a single possession, a bible. “

“These men have risked everything to get this far”

Not too long ago, able-bodied men and women were forcefully taken from Africa and made slaves in Europe and America. They182582_422366811128988_207237099308628_1307120_561728427_n were ferried in degrading, inhumane conditions chained to compartments in colonial ships and one of these early ships was named Jesus.

Today, able-bodied Africans are paying to be ferried in deplorable conditions to Europe and America, knowing it is a journey of life and death. Their utmost freedom is not guaranteed since making the journey is one thing; getting the right to legally stay in the country of their choice is quite another thing and a tedious, humiliating journey on its own. The asylum route is not known to have a humane face.

Why are we not concerned that many are risking their lives to cross the oceans in deplorable conditions?

This is all so depressing and not an isolated case. It is a daily occurrence. In October 2013, a boat carrying about 500 African migrants from Libya, mostly Somalis and Eritreans sank off Italy’s Lampedusa’s island. 311 bodies were recovered including women and children. Only 155 people of the 500 survived. One horror that stood out in that tragedy was the bodies of a mother and child that Italian media reported had been found still attached by the umbilical cord, among the bodies of dozens of other victims. As one observer said:

It’s something, I think, one cannot forget: coffins of babies, coffins of a mother and a child that was born at that moment,

That indeed is profoundly shocking.

We often talk about human trafficking and put an evil face on the traffickers but we never do anything serious to tackle the problems that lead to human trafficking. My earliest experience of human trafficking was when I was about 10 years old, living with my middle class family in Nigeria. I grew up in a house-hold where we always had at least 2 young house-helps from the poor neighbouring country, Cotonou, Benin Republic.The girls were usually given out to Nigerians as house-helps by their immediate family members or relatives. Their monthly wages were paid to the family members and not directly to the young house-helps. This was a usual practice in Nigeria then, but now people hardly need to go out of Nigeria to ‘source’ for young house-helps. Due to the downturn of the Nigerian economy, there is no shortage of distant relatives in Nigerian villages who want their children to come live in the cities as house-helps to city dwellers. Yes, Nigerian villages are now the new Cotonous.

I remember one day in the 80s, when a very young me asked my mum why our neighbour had some Cotonou girls brandishing new passports and visas to Europe. The girls were ecstatic and celebrating their new status. But my mum told me she wouldn’t wish her daughters to go do the kind of job that was awaiting those ladies. I didn’t really understand what she was saying because those ladies were besides themselves with joy. It was much later that I realised it was about human trafficking and commercial sex work. But i still remember vividly that this was no case of forced trafficking or under aged girls, these were adults happy to get passports and entry visas to go work in Europe as commercial sex workers.  Unfortunately, most of them did not really understand what the terms and conditions entailed. And for many, it would mean a lifetime of bondage to their ‘benefactor’ who helped secure the visas and flights.

By mid nineties, it was no longer about the poor girls in neighbouring countries; it was now about Edo girls in Nigeria and human trafficking. Mrs Titi Abubarkar, the wife of the then vice president of Nigeria, even founded an organisation called ‘Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation‘ (WOTCLEF) with the aim of rehabilitating female victims of human trafficking. Somehow, I was appointed a founding regional coordinator of the organisation, probably because i was a female student union leader at the time.

I met some of the women allegedly rescued from prostitution in Italy that were brought back to Nigeria for rehabilitation. It seemed more like they were deported and would still try all means to leave Nigeria. The ladies were paraded on the media as evidence of the success of the organisation. The media show was all about how they were going to be trained in handicraft (as if some of them were not well versed in this already) and given seed money to start their own businesses. All in all, it was all about stigmatising sex work, rather than focusing on forced labour or human trafficking.  Given the opportunity again, many would still happily leave the country under whatever circumstances.

African men pay to be taken in ships in deplorable conditions to Europe or America, African women pay with their bodies to be voluntarily trafficked across oceans to work for pimps.  In most cases, it is about survival; survival of the fittest. We have grown and evolved as human beings but we are yet to achieve economy evolution.

Is the grass really greener on the other side? Racism still hold immigrants back and many will spend an entire lifetime running away from immigration officers. There are immigrants with PhDs trying to make ends meet, toiling behind the counters, serving burgers and chips at McDonalds. While some are forced by oppressive governments to flee their home countries, many are forced by economic reasons to seek greener pastures. For many it is simply a last resort at survival.

Many are willing to be dehumanised just to survive. After all, you are only human when you are alive. The dead don’t care about dehumanisation, they are already dead. If being dehumanised means you get to stay alive, well, so be it. It depends on the price tag that is put on our lives by powers that be and the price we are willing to pay to keep breathing.

Others are of course happy to assist in the dehumanisation process and those others include but not limited to:

The corrupt leaders and politicians who force deplorable living conditions on their citizens.

The greedy people who provide deplorable boats voyage to migrants in exchange for money.

The westerners who treat immigrants like scum of the earth.

And the employer who wouldn’t give a well qualified immigrant a job, just because, well, racism.

When qualified immigrants apply for junior executive jobs, we are told we are overqualified which keeps us perpetually in the unemployed market but when we apply for the ones we are not overqualified for, we never get any positive feedback,  just ‘Sorry, unfortunately you have not been short-listed.’

There is the unwritten even unsaid rule that if you want to be an employed immigrant, better stick to the jobs mapped out for 430148_153310014784587_2052260977_nimmigrants, shove your fancy degrees in your closet and start applying as a cleaner. If you are lucky, you get the juiciest of immigrants’ jobs as carer or support workers. No one cares about your degrees, if you wanna survive, toe the line set out for immigrants and forget about your fancy degrees and years of work experience in your field.  Mind you, if you are really lucky, you get to fill the equality monitoring slot and be the prize your employer parades to show that they are not racist cos well they have a black employee! You become the “I am not racist, i have a black friend” card your employer plays when it suits their purpose.

The discrepancies between the ‘have and the have nots’ keeps growing. The gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening.  African countries are the official face of poverty, Asian countries are the official face of women oppression and barbaric honour killings and Western countries are the official  face of racism and unbridled capitalism. When is the human race going to economically evolve?

Is there ever going to be a time when we can all move around planet earth freely as earthlings? Are we ever going to be citizens of the world rather than citizens of a country? This is a much needed evolution. Hopefully we will evolve socially, politically and economically to make this earth a place of economic, social and political equality because:

Only then can we put an end to people dying on the seas while attempting to illegally cross into other countries.

Only then can we totally eradicate human trafficking and forced labour.

Only then can we stop seeing starving African children as unending poster child adverts for organisations like ‘Save the Children‘ or ‘Water Aids‘.

Only then can we truly say we have evolved beyond survival of the fittest to create an equitable society where everyone is truly free from class discrimination. 483329_409097422470185_1432403924_n

The migrants risking their lives to make the dangerous journeys across borders might think the grass is greener on the other
side but they are still going to meet humans because the other side is inhabited by humans. Waiting for them on the other side are humans probably with different skin colours, who are happy to further dehumanise them, because humans have not yet evolved beyond the rudimentary survival of the fittest. The economic evolution of humans is yet to come. And because of this inequality, we will keep on reading about migrants dying on high seas whilst trying to cross over to a place where the grass is supposedly greener. And this is distressing; totally depressing.

May 25 2014

Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

It has indeed been enlightening as well as fun anchoring, participating and watching on the Nigerian Atheists group page, the 383946_203577736388137_192116174200960_463961_1674859760_nreality drama triggered by the controversial minutes of the first and only meeting of this group ‘Nigerian Atheists’.

It has provided me with a good story line. This juicy story is not a book full of lies, deceits and a bloodthirsty God character like the Bible or Quran but it has surely been inspired by a minutes of a meeting, with as much credibility as the Bible or Quran, ironically, the group’s name is, wait for it,  Nigerian Atheists!

THE MINUTES OF THIS GROUP MEETING WAS WRITTEN BY PROPHET KUNLE OGUNYEMI AND WITNESSED BY HIS APOSTLES namely, the plagiarizing Apostle GAMBO aka Gambagate, the Lily livered Apostle ANDREW and on the fence sitter, Apostle LEKE!

People wondered why I didn’t just leave the Nigerian Atheists group since they were obviously up to no good. Many of the group members still do not understand that they have been gathered together as evidence for the Nigerian Atheist prophet of scammers, Prophet Kunle, who wanted to show the group to the world as evidence of a congregation he needs to feed. Since he cannot do so through miracles as supposedly done by dear lord Jesus, who allegedly fed a multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Prophet Kunle thought it would be great to appeal to international atheists organisations to help fund  ‘his” organization.

Unfortunately, the “Nigerian factor” reared its ugly head in this fledgling organization. The dollar signs became a temptation for some atheists who logically or illogically but definitely unethically have set off to defraud the larger Atheists community.

I just sit back and laugh when some members of this group whine that I am set out to destroy this new organization. I laugh because I truly wonder if they cannot understand that their own very words and action is what is destroying or to put it more aptly, has destroyed the Nigerian Atheists group?

All I did was put up a valid objection document with facts and evidence and what do I get in return from those who claim to be members of a rational group that value logic and want to spread human rights principles? Well, I got a ton of abuses, insults, deceits, name-calling and a flagrant show of bigotry, sexism, homophobia and loads of bullshit. Thank goodness I wear my bullshit proof vest all the time because I am allergic to ignorance especially when packaged as bullshit intelligence!

I laughed because every word they uttered, every move they made, every posts and comments exposed their personality to the world. Considering that they yearn to be considered legitimate members of rational thinkers, their every comment was a nail in the coffin of their dream to be accepted as rational thinkers. BTW, THEY HAVE NOW CHANGED THE SETTING OF THE NIGERIAN ATHEIST GROUP PAGE FROM OPEN TO CLOSED GROUP!

I have always had an avid interest in studying human personality and human nature. It is always interesting to see people play 300247_196262230453021_2134688917_nout human traits that have been in existence from time immemorial. Deceits, betrayals, back stabbing, ego, bigotry as well as kindness, understanding, rationality are all parts of human nature; however it is always interesting to see how particular individuals play out these traits unconsciously.

In the past few days of this imbroglio surrounding the pathetic book of lies AKA ‘Minutes of the meeting of Nigerian Atheists’, some interesting characters have emerged that would definitely make good character for my book. Peep into the trailer below for snippets of these interesting characters-

 Mr. K – The Nigerian Atheists Prince of Scammers who saw the dollar sign and immediately jumped at the opportunity of making money off unsuspecting rational thinkers. Unfortunately this character has a big crush (his Achilles heels, a dream which when crushed brought out the ‘devils’ in him).

He also has an ego that could not be supported by a brain, a thirst for atheist recognition and a greed for international funding that led him to begging an American atheist he met on Facebook to publish the minutes of “his” organization in an American blog, even when the minutes has not been made available on “his” organization’s page , not even available to the 166 Nigerian Atheists group members (95% of whom had been randomly added to the group to boost online membership).

Mr K had a crush and it became a dream crushed. He could not take responsibility for his own actions and feelings, so he turned vindictive and malicious towards the object of his crush, a case that proves that even ‘Hell hath no fury like a ‘man’ scorned’!

However, the interesting part has been the unfolding of two faced lies and deceits, backdoor dirty phone calls, mudslinging, no back bone to publicly state his case and a quick retreat backstabbing behind closed door to malign his perceived enemy who was once his dream.

 Mr. G- He is the Plagiarizing Apostle who could not for the life of him string together an original statement. 99% of the posts he made on the Nigerian Atheists group page have been proved beyond any reasonable doubts to be words, statements and blog posts of other bloggers. Who steals comments of other people to make a post? Mr G does! Incredible but very true!

He flagrantly made posts and comments that were not his original words, and passed these off as his original thoughts. When 429410_288717951198060_211991868870669_676955_1277017275_nhe was caught red handed, he did not even have the decency to apologize or at least admit that it was wrong of him to have flagrantly plagiarized other people’s works. I was not surprised that the 1% of his comments on the group page that are original to him has been irrational, incoherent, stack of lies!

Mr G tried to woo a foreign, atheist damsel with his plagiarized intelligence but ended up in the GAMBAGATE expose!

Mr. A- He is the lily livered, sheepish one who kiss the ass of his benefactors. He would happily bash religion and baby Jesus in a closed online Atheists group but once the group became an open online group, he kept his running, bejeseus bashing mouth shut! What a chicken!

He is like the typical religious believer who needs a shepherd for direction. Yes, these kinds of sheep can also be found in the atheists’ community as Mr. A’s actions have clearly shown! He would do and believe whatever his shepherd commands of him. Yes, he is that sheepish.

 Mr L- He is the character who can’t make up his mind whether to stand up for the truth or just go with the flow of the majority. He conveniently sits on the fence to avoid standing up! He sometimes speaks up but would retreat when confronted.

He is your typical Nigerian, they know the truth, they know the government stinks but they would rather not rock the boat!

Mr. H- The furtive foreigner who wants to make some cash via another country. He is most likely a persona non grata in his homeland therefore he seeks to attach himself like a leech to greedy and gullible people outside his state. He is not a very bright person but often fancy himself as having a brain.

Mr D- Who fancies himself as a champion of human rights, and confers upon himself the title of ‘elderly person with wisdom’ but whose every action and words speaks to the contrary. He loves using the ‘Freedom for all, human rights language’ but cannot be seen to practice what he preaches. He screams to sell a product he actually does not have!

Ms K- What is a script without a foreign damsel? Lol! Well, Ms K is the foreign damsel who led Mr. G to commit GAMBAGATE. Of course even after it was revealed that her knight in shining armor has been posing with stolen, not so shining armor, she still acts the screen stereotype part of a woman who would cease the use of her thinking faculty and chose instead to follow blindly the words of a thieving man!

Ms L. – This character highlights the main problem in Nigeria. It is a trite fact that whenever student unions and labour movement call for a general strike to address a bad situation caused by school overlords, bad employers, politicians or general bad governance, the likes of Ms L would want to sabotage it.

She knows a wrong has been done but as far as the wrong was not done to her, she does not care.  She would complain because her enjoyment of the public playground has been affected by students or workers who are protesting an injustice. She would call strikers and protesters selfish for occupying a public playground even when she recognizes that they have a just cause to protest.

She would even give ‘advice’ that the aggrieved take the grievance to court instead of spoiling her fun, an insincere advice which anyone with half a brain would know was not given with good intention.  Yes, that is the typical selfish attitude of many Nigerians, even when the wrong affects them, they’d rather be suffering and smiling cos they always want to play.

Also, Ms L strikingly exemplifies the fact that no matter how well anyone loves to visit the library, intelligence cannot be bought on the shelves! Rational thinking is a process and just like principles, you cannot buy it off bookshelves.

There are also the occasional clowns like Mr E who cuts a funnily pitiable figure every time he opens his mouth, the vulgar gangster wannabe Mr. J, the ghetto speaking, no manners, vulgarity spewing Ms L and a host of other characters who right now are hoping they would at least get a mention in this story! Losers, go get a life! lol!

Of course in every story-line, there are always the heroes and heroines, in this case those were the ones who showed courage, spoke out and yes, they rekindled hope in humanity and established that, traits like honesty, fairness, kindness are still part of human nature which some human beings are capable of exhibiting!

And of course there is the protagonist/antagonist, whose role was to bring out the good or evil in all these characters. All she did was tender some valid objection and let the story play out!

Wow! What an experience, what a story with incredible characters! It is made even all the more interesting because they were test 545241_360948277291338_154849837901184_1145551_1913080906_ncases who did not know they were been tested which makes the findings much more credible!

Every worthwhile experience needs to be documented and this forms the plot of the story ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP: THE GENESIS AND REVELATION OF ITS BIGOTRY, SEXISM AND PATRIARCHAL TENDENCIES!’

NOLLYWOOD, WATCH OUT FOR THIS BLOCKBUSTER! You should grab a copy of this TRILOGY, now available online!

(This was first posted on 24 June, 2012  on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes, my old blog and now published here for easy reference.)

Related Articles-

-PUBLIC DISCLAIMER AND OBJECTION TO THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 12, 2012

-NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP: THE GENESIS AND REVELATION OF ITS BIGOTRY, SEXISM AND PATRIARCHAL TENDENCIES!’

-ANALYSIS OF COMMENTS MADE BY TWO FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

May 25 2014

ANALYSIS OF COMMENTS MADE BY TWO FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

This was first posted in June, 2012 on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes and old blog and now published here for easy reference.

My short stint with the Nigerian Atheists group exposed me and many others to bigotry, sexism, homophobia and a blatant 304914_209227842473067_100001575579815_591821_3991924_ndisregard for facts in the group.  It really was an eye opening experience that brought to fore the characters of its founders and the real intention behind floating the group. It is indeed a pity because they give Atheists a bad name and has unfortunately contributed to the stereotype of Nigerians as yahoo scammers. I believe such experience should be documented for present and future purposes and HERE is a link to my write up on the experience

Below are my analyses of the comments made  by two of the Nigerian Atheists group main founders, Hotem Dajenid and Gamba Joel Sl, on the Nigerian Atheists group Facebook page , following my objection to the minutes of the first ever Nigerian Atheists group meeting, where I was blatantly misquoted and misrepresented.

The analyses of their comments was posted as a document and comments on the group page , not surprisingly and very unethically, the document along with my OBJECTION TO THE MINUTES document and my comments were deleted by Hotem Dajenid and Kunle Ogunyemi, who are both founders and Admin members of  the Nigerian Atheists Facebook group page. The group has also been made a closed group, hmm .. now closeted atheists or just hiding their bigoted, sexist , homophobic group from the prying eyes of the public?  They form a backdrop of interesting characters for a good storyline worth reading about HERE!

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

 This will be settled soon, and since the public’s memory is short, this won’t be remembered six months from now. A few of us most affected will always remember, but atheists of Nigeria will continue to progress.

 My Analysis -

This comment speaks volume!

- “This will be settled soon  Really?

How? By bullying and sweeping the issue under the carpet?

- “and since the public’s memory is short, this won’t be remembered six months from now.”

So you are relying on the public forgetting about your misdeeds, bigotry, sexism, homophobic comments, lack of values etc in roughly about six months? Hmm… this really is an insult to the general public.

It also shows that you really have no idea how the internet works. Haven’t you learned from the downfall of your friend, Gamba Joel, who was having a jolly good time plagiarizing bloggers works on the internet and passing it off as his own words until it all came back to bite him in the ass, when a more enlightened, conscientious woman exposed him for the fraud he truly is? (All credits to Abbie Mimiko for that great GAMBAGATE Expose!)

Hotem Dajenid, unlike the public, the internet does not have a short memory!

When you engage online and post stuff on the internet, you are stuck with it for the long term, it’s no short term relationship boy, 308369_123406971100750_123367681104679_130198_1338767226_nyou are in it for the long haul! Gear up because all your words, actions, bigotry, lies, and deceits are forever documented online.

Yes, from time to time, I will joggle the public memory about how deceitful you lots are. All I need to do is Google the name “Nigerian Atheists” and drop some factual evidence of this damning episode and let whoever or whichever group is talking about Nigerian Atheists have the links to full gist of unfolding events here and let the true colours of the people behind this Nigerian Atheists façade shine through!

Oh boy, you people have got some free publicity coming. I mean, Kunle Ogunyemi had to beg his American FB friend contact to publish the minutes of the Nigerian Atheist meeting and promote the group on American sites, well, you want publicity, now you got it coming daily on Google! This promises to be fun!

HOTEM DAJENID WROTE-

Also, just because someone screams that he or she was misrepresented and misquoted, doesn’t make it so.

My Analysis- 

It may not make it so, but you forgot the important part that when in doubt go the fair way.

- Why attribute a quote to someone and publish it when you are in doubt about whether the person actually said it?

- Why make such categorical statements when you were not even at the meeting?

- Considering that you voluntarily blocked this person you are talking about even before this fiasco, what proof is there that you are not already biased?

- What really is your interest in Nigerian Atheists group since you are an Ugandan and resides in Uganda?

- Why not concentrate your dubious efforts in building an Ugandan Atheists group or is it that Ugandans are not as gullible as Nigerians or your dubious reputation is already known in Uganda and would be a hindrance to you getting some hard dollar bills from international Atheists community?

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

  If it were up to me, she would simply be expelled from Nigerian Atheists.

 My Analysis-

Hmm Hotem Dajenid, the Ugandan, who resides in Uganda, says “If it were up to me, she would simply be expelled from Nigerian Atheists”.

- Another bigoted African using the dictator’s language, talking without thinking! How unfortunate, these people give Africa a bad image!

- Also imagine if this was coming from a white person, wouldn’t it be seen as neo-colonialism and patronizing attitude? Hmm, I guess sometimes, having a black skin has its privileges, e.g. you could get to be a patriarchal, chauvinistic, bigoted, sexist asshole and no one raises an eyebrow!

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

 Yes. Yes. Well said Gamba. Kunle, from what I understand, simply wrote what everyone witnessed, which exposed her negative attitude. She’s pissed because she wants the record twisted to reflect the idea that she’s sweet, positive and promotes good working relationships with everyone.

 My Analysis- 

Obviously this caveman has no idea what ideals Yemis Ilesanmi stands for! Yemisi Ilesanmi is widely known for not playing sweet or fakery. Truth, critical thinking and logical analysis are all more important to Yemisi Ilesanmi than trying “to reflect the idea that she’s sweet, positive and promotes good working relationships with everyone.”

If only people would do their homework!

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

In response to Gamba, Yemisi doesn’t have a case. She has no witnesses to back up her claim

My Analysis-

- Oh Hotem, what is more important to you.. the truth or availability of witnesses?

- You just unwittingly show once again, what an unprincipled and unscrupulous person you are!

- BTW, Yemisi Ilesanmi does not need witness to back her up, it was a meeting of a minority group, and she has a right not to be publicly quoted in the minutes of the meeting. You are really daft, aren’t you?

Hotem Dajenim WROTE -

 My advice is that Yemisi simply be expelled from Nigerian Atheists. She’s not the only fish in the sea

My Analysis-

- Now they are fishermen, fishing in the sea? How so Apostle Paul like… Hmm Apostle Hotem, Apostle Gambo and Apostle Kunle fishing in the sea for bigger fishes for Atheism all to attract funders in hard currencies. Gawd! Small brains!

Hotem Dajenim WROTE-

  Excluding Yemisi, Nigerian Atheists has a core of compatible gentlemen. Yemisi was a good experience for all of us–makes us aware of our vulnerabilities and makes us very cautious as to whom we invite to serve on our board. A period of a year’s observation is in order before we build the board from what it is now.

My Analysis-

- “Excluding Yemisi, Nigerian Atheists has a core of compatible gentlemen” lol!

- Hmmm.. Obviously Yemisi Ilesanmi was a real test for the “gentlemen”.

- Nigerian atheists group wants “gentlemen” not assertive ladies… why not just put a notice on the group page … ‘No assertive ladies welcomed, Women must be submissive because they evolved from the ribs of atheists gentle men!” Lol!

- These guys can’t even see all that poisonous residue of religion in their own words and actions… pathetic!

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

  If Yemisi wants to start her own organisation, perhaps named: Nigerian Women Atheists, that would go a long way to keep women involved–and to see how Yemisi gets along with her sisters.

My Analysis-

- Yeah, the ‘gentlemen’ obviously feel challenged by an intelligent, assertive woman, they want the women to run along and go form a woman’s organization.

- The gentlemen have no balls to match the brains of the women.. so they find a way to kick them out!

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

 Again, well said! And at a time before NGA accumulated assets.

My Analysis- 

- Hmm so finally Hotem Dajenid unwittingly let out his real motive behind Nigerian Atheists group… Accumulation of assets under the name Nigerian Atheists group.

- How deceptive! Pray, how is this different from Bishop David Oyedepo and all the other jet set pastors fleecing poor congregation members of monies while they jet off all over the world in their private jets?

- Hotem Dajenid and Kunle Ogunyemi publicly condemn religious leaders’ exploitation of religious believers while they themselves plot how they are going to accumulate assets using the Nigerian Atheists as a cover front?

- Any wonder that Kunle Ogunyemi begged his American FB friend to help promote “his “ organization on American blogs? How pathetic!

Hotem Dajenid WROTE-

 We have witnessed her outrageous temperament on this page. Even if we arrive at a point where everyone kisses and makes up, I fear for the future when, again, Yemisi perceives an injustice done against her. In the future, Nigerian Atheists may have property and funds at stake, when her tornado of rage will be a serious threat to a more advanced NGA.

 My Analysis-

- Once again these give away words… “Nigerian Atheists may have property and funds at stake”

- So it is really about accumulating property and funds using the name ‘Nigerian Atheists’, how enlightening!

Now to analyze Gamba Joel’s comments.. Remember Gamba is also known as GAMBAGATE following the exposure on his plagiarizing 99% of comments and posts he ever made on the Nigerian Atheists group page! So here comes my analysis of Gamba the GAMBAGATE comments!

Gamba Joel Sb WROTE-

 She’d been expelled. In fact, she had never accepted a membership right from the begining.

My Analysis-

We all know now that Gamba Joel can hardly string together a logical, original thought but even I keep getting surprised at the level of this incompetence of his.

He said,

“She’d been expelled”

Really? Expelled by whom, when and how?

Is thinking really that difficult for this guy who actually claims he wants to spread logic and critical reasoning to other people? Looks like he needs a large dose of brain activation!

His statement itself is a SELF EVIDENT LIE AS WELL AS VERY CHILDISH.

What rational adults say a thing like that knowing it is obviously non factual and still try to pass it off as if it were a fact? He must be really dense or thinks Nigerian Atheists group members are kindergarten kids!

Gamba Joel Sb WROTE-

 Yemisi was never misquoted. All present at the meeting have reaffirmed that fact, what else. The minute simply exposed her and she wished she never was present at the meeting, that is it.

 My Analysis-

Yeah, I know this brother is really very thick in the head but really, how thicker can someone who parades as an Atheist rational thinker get? This is probably the thickest in the head I have ever seen!

He said “Yemisi was never misquoted”- Yet in his earlier comments on the issue, he admitted that He, Gamba Joel, was the one who said the second comment that was attributed to me in the minutes of the meeting. He had earlier said on the group page and I quote-

 I think you’re right here, I can’t remember you making such statement. I suspect I was the one who brought that up. Kunle should also apologise here.

Now he is dumbly coming back to say “Yemisi was never misquoted”. What a thick head! And that is not an insult, just a FACT, the evidence is clear, the truth might hurt but it is better than lies, atheists should know that!

Gamba Joel WROTE-

 The minute simply exposed her and she wished she never was present at the meeting, that is it.

My Analysis-

-The minutes exposed the ignorance of the writer of the minutes and the members who think there is something called “Atheistic values” as said in the minutes.

- The minutes exposed the fact that key members of the group ‘Nigerian Atheists’ are simply scammers looking for an International market!

Gamba Joel Sb WROTE-

 Good-working-rela-what? No. I think any one who needed good-working-relationship in this group should by now thank his stars that Yemisi is gliding out (though not without a fight).

Gamba Joel Sb ‎- *his/her*

My Analysis-

The ‎”*his/her*” obviously confirms that “her” was an afterthought. Women are not really seen as authentic members of Nigerian Atheists, no wonder Gamba Joel and Hotem Dajenid kept screaming that Yemisi Ilesanmi should go and form a Nigerian WOMEN Atheists group!

Little slip ups like this is a big glimpse into their sexist, bigoted chauvinistic, simplistic minds!

Gamba Joel Sb WROTE-

 I am afraid, the minute can not be amended. My problem is why do some people here still feel the minutes must be amended? All the attendants of that meeting has already came out to affirm the authencity of that report, I inclusive. Yemisi have proved who she really is. There could have been ways of resolving this issue if that was what she wanted from the begining, alas, she had a different programm and now, she has crossed the bounds of fairness (far as I’m concerned).

My Analysis-

So Gamba and co are peeved that Yemisi Ilesanmi did not inbox them privately to beg that a wrong they did to her be corrected?

Hmm…did they ever hear of the words human rights na my property, you can’t dash me human right. So they like every known despotic leader, expected others to BEG for what is rightfully theirs? Such a shame for the so called new generation of Africans, they have learned nothing about how democracy works!

Gamba Joel WROTE-

 She can do whatever she needed to do; she had threatened legal actions that I stand to see her persue religiously as she showed here. But I don’t think she has the know how, she sucks!

My Analysis-

Do I even need to address this? It is clearly an outburst of a child throwing tantrums.

BTW, Yemisi never threatened to take legal action… this was a suspicious suggestion made by one of Gamba and co supporters who just wanted Yemisi Ilesanmi out of this group so she and others could continue with their religious bashing and party on the group page. How pathetic.

Again, to educate you, Gamba Joel, legal action is indeed possible in this case, because any competent court can grant a valid request seeking an injunction against Nigerian Atheists group, asking the group to refrain from using the name YEMISI ILESANMI in any public document of Nigerian Atheists and yes, that include the minutes of the meeting of the Nigerian Atheists group.

However, Yemisi Ilesanmi does not need to go through the stress of legal redress, all she needs to do is Google ‘Nigerian Atheists’ every now and then and splash across a disclaimer and a post or two as examples of the bigotry, sexism, homophobia in this group. This is actually more fun than going to court!

Gamba Joel Sb WROTE-

 what are atheists rights? Are these “atheists’ rights” divorced from major fundamental human rights guaranteed in Nigerian constitution and various international laws that Nigeria is a signatory to? To think that someone who called him/herself an atheist could sit behind a keyboard and type this is beyond my thinking. One has to suspend his rational abilities and hypnotize him/herself into believing that religion has no un-excusable previledges in our society. You need to check that constitution again. What about blasphemy?! To name one.

 My Analysis-

Oh Gamba… yes, it is an established fact that you have no original thought in your head, but every time you open your mouth in an attempt to spit out words that have not been stolen from other peoples blogs, I am still taken aback by the lack of rationale in your words, you really are thick in the head, I do seriously sympathize with you.

Oh boy, the Nigerian constitution asserts that every citizen is entitled to Freedom of Religion… Blasphemy is not a crime under the Nigerian Constitution.

Freedom of religion also encompasses freedom from religion and considering that there are various religions, gods and revered prophets in Nigeria, any singular religion could accuse the other of blasphemy against its God, Religion or Prophet. Constitutional freedom of religion protects against this malady.

Truly boy, are you sure you are a graduate or did you just plagiarized all your school work to get a degree? Not surprising, especially knowing what Nigerian educational system is like!

Obviously you can’t comprehend that there is a difference between the Nigerian Federal Constitution and your local customary courts, including your Sharia law and courts. The Nigerian Federal Constitution is the GRUNDNORM, its provisions supersedes any other powers it grants to other regional or local subsidiaries like your customary courts.

Do you actually understand that FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS are above any other provisions? That FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT? Hmm that would be too hard for your plagiarizing brain to comprehend. lol!

Actually, I only debate my Equals, all others I teach. I do not teach elementary classes, therefore Gamba Joel aka GAMBAGATE, you are not qualified to be my student! Your plagiarism would get you disqualified in the shortest time possible!

Anyway, the issue still remains the concocted minute of the meeting of Nigerian Atheists, the glaring fact that I was misrepresented and misquoted, a fact you actually admitted to before you unethically did a U turn and of course the fact that this group reeks of Bigotry, Sexism, Censorship, Lies  and Deceits. Nothing can distract or change these facts, they are self evident truths.

Oh…probably Gamba Joel aka Gambagate cried to Kunle Ogunyemi and Hotem Dajenid that he cannot stand the damning evidence that I am not “a’quack’,” “probably a non-practicing, drop-out or something.” as he claimed, so they had to delete the proof as it stared them in the face in my graduation video! I guess the truth really hurts! Kids! Here it is again boys, feel free to get a tissue and bawl your eyes out! Lol!

GAMBA JOEL WROTE-

 Yemisi claims to be a lawyer but I suspect she is a ‘quack’, watch it! (probably a non-practicing, drop-out or something).

My Analysis-

Oh Gamba…you never learn, do you? Lol! What did I tell you about getting your facts right?

Stop your pathetic, childish attempts at maligning people, it is really disgustingly funny! lol!

Stop suspecting and start digging for facts! Yes, it is all about FACTS, verifiable FACTS! Is it really too difficult for you to comprehend?

You know it is not really difficult to find out if I am to quote you “a ‘quack’”, ” (probably a non-practicing, drop-out or something).” You could have done your research but you preferred to throw suspicions and insults around. If only you could invest half the energy you spend on scouting online for words, posts and comments to plagiarize, on improving your IQ!

Well, you are the plagiarizing master, the GAMBAGATE himself, but do try and grow a brain!

BTW, enjoy my graduation video….not just my first degree or call to bar but my MASTER OF LAWS (LL.M) graduation ceremony! BTW Gamba Joel, do not steal my intro poem, it’s copyrighted! Lol!

With every minute and every action Kunle Ogunyemi, Hotem Dajenid and Gamba Joel have all made it clear this is about their ego rather than regards for truth and due procedure. The more they speak, the more they expose their true character to the world.

Every worthwhile experience needs to be documented and this forms the plot of the story ‘NIGERIAN ATHEIS481866_543604339002200_820756368_nTS GROUP: THE GENESIS AND REVELATION OF ITS BIGOTRY, SEXISM AND PATRIARCHAL TENDENCIES!’

People who lack principles cannot pretend to want to spread truth, logic and human rights to the world. Bigotry, Sexism , Homophobia, Censorship and many other patriarchal tendencies displayed by main founders of Nigerian Atheists group, have no place in any organisation that claims to be progressive.

Related links-

-PUBLIC DISCLAIMER AND OBJECTION TO THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 12, 2012

-NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP: THE GENESIS AND REVELATION OF ITS BIGOTRY, SEXISM AND PATRIARCHAL TENDENCIES!’

-Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Following the refusal of the Secretary of Nigeria Atheists group, Kunle Ogunyemi to amend the minutes of the meeting as necessary and follow due process in seeking approval for publication, the co director of the Nigerian Atheists group Dr Tunde Arogundade has also tendered his resignation.I have also resigned as Director of Nigerian Atheists group.

I, YEMISI ILESANMI HEREBY STATE THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING CONTAINS INACCURACIES AND I DO NOT WISH TO BE ASSOCIATED IN ANY WAY WITH THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’. THANK YOU.

May 25 2014

Nigerian Atheists Group: Genesis and Revelation of its Patriarchal Tendencies!

How does one begin to address strong issues of great importance delicately?

How does one point out to a fledgling organization that it does not practice what it seeks to preach to others without being termed 430560_3251659296871_1428686839_33367390_235620484_na killer of dreams?

How does one get redress for a wrong done by a minority organization without being termed as malicious and vindictive?

How do we get people to understand that being a minority organization or a member of a minority group does not excuse you from objective criticism?

Bigotry, sexism, censorship, lack of regards for facts, misrepresentation, bullying should not rear its ugly head in a progressive organization, certainly not in an ATHEISTS organization, and if it reared its ugly head, this should not be welcomed or swept under the carpet.

No organization should claim a free pass from objective criticism because it is a minority, fledgling organization. If you want to preach reason and logic to the world as a group, be ready to practice what you preach starting from within your group.

As a woman who has been actively engaged in activism over the decades as a student union leader, full time career trade unionist and human right activist, I have had many encounters with bigotry, sexism, censorship, harassment and bullying amongst so many called “comrades’ but I must confess I was really shocked to be confronted with these ‘uglies’ in an Atheists group!

I have never held the opinion that Atheists are better people just because they do not believe in the existence of any God or because they don’t have imaginary Sky daddies and Water mummies, but I always thought that every atheist would AT LEAST GIVE RATIONAL THINKING a chance in every debate, how wrong I was!

This was forcefully made apparent to me when I raised valid objections to the minutes of Nigerian Atheists group first ever meeting and what came out was an exposure of the true characters of people who wanted to camouflage as atheists! The revelation stinks to high heavens!

It is a pity that some group members were of the opinion that because the person who raised the objection to the minutes is a woman and the one who wrote the minutes is a man, therefore it is a Boy Vs Girl issue. This is a great disservice to our evolved brain. This is an OBJECTION with facts, why should the focus be on gender?

In an effort to trivialize legitimate, valid concerns of members of this group, some have referred to our concerns as “Women rantings” and “Girls doing their thing”, also bullying has been employed to try and censor some female members who dared to raise their voice. How do we even begin to explain some chauvinist and misogynist language used by some members of this group without caution?

Female members were called “bitches” and “motherfuckas”, homophobic comments were used against a member of this group 558635_452575621435167_122256581133741_1696293_265476766_nand his home address posted online, thereby endangering his life especially in the highly volatile, homophobic Northern part of Nigeria! There were threats to rape women and ram dicks up their mothers’ ass and yet, the admin members of this group ‘Nigerian Atheists’ (who BTW added these people to the group) did not deem it fit to caution on the use of offensive language, in fact one member actually said he found the contribution of a misogynist to be Intelligent!

How does Nigerian Atheists even begin to move on as a group without addressing these important issues? Nigerian Atheists claim to want to ‘preach’ the use of common sense to the world, but pray, how do you give what you do not have?

Atheists do not get to have a free pass from criticism just because they are a minority group or because I identify as an Atheist. Atheists worth their salt should not be afraid of scrutiny; they should welcome objective, critical scrutiny of any Atheists organization and its mode of operandi.

This is where I read for the first time, this mysterious MINUTES of the meeting as this MINUTES of the meeting was NEVER posted on the Nigerian Atheists group page, but FIRST ended up in a FOREIGN BLOG, SkepticMoney!

Majority of the comments on the blog post are deriding NIGERIAN ATHEISTS as a possible SCAM GROUP looking for INTERNATIONAL FUNDING! If proper advised had been sourced by Kunle Ogunyemi before making the UNILATERAL decision to ask Phil Ferguson to post the unapproved minutes of Nigerian Atheists meeting on his blog, we would at least have thought of a better way to introduce this group to the world, but NO, he had to do it all alone.

BTW, why should the minutes of the meeting be what was posted in a foreign blog as promotional stuff? And that again is one of the major issues I raised in my objection to the minutes of the meeting.

Here is a link on the Nigerian Atheists meeting’s minutes on REDDIT, not a good promotional strategy I would say, that sure backfired, the comments are killing!

For all anyone knows, Kunle Ogunyemi could have also begged other “foreigners’ that he has suddenly befriended on facebook to help promote “HIS NEW GROUP”.  Ethically Phil Ferguson could withdraw his earlier post of the minutes of the meeting from his blog or he could do a follow up bringing the attention of his readers to the controversy surrounding the Group and its controversial minutes, however he is not obliged to. KUNLE OGUNYEMI should ask Phil and all others he had sent the minutes of the meeting, to cease from publishing it until all clearance has been given by the group.

KUNLE OGUNYEMI needs to understand that even though he was appointed Secretary of Nigerian Atheists group, HE is not the Group.  An argument or disagreement with KUNLE OGUNYEMI is not the same as a disagreement with NIGERIAN ATHEISTS group. This African  dictator WARLORD mentality must stop. You cannot seek to take out the speck in your religious brothers and sisters eyes when you have a LOG in your own eyes!

BTW, what is “atheistic values” that Kunle Ogunyemi referred to in this controversial minutes … gawd, I bet the more enlightened atheists reading the minutes would be convulsing over in a fit of laughter! He wrote in the minutes of the meeting-

Yemisi Ilesanmi complained that the mission is too broad… Ogunyemi Adekunle disagreed with this position, pointing it out that; atheistic values go beyond the mere defense of atheists’ liberty….

Atheism is simply the rebuttal of the belief in theism, a god, a deity, spiritual beings etc. There is NO ATHEIST(IC) VALUES. You 182703_128793373861245_100001917503756_195890_771624_ncan have Christian values, Muslim values, Hindu values, HUMANIST values…but you cannot have ATHEISTIC VALUE because atheism is not a religion or philosophy. Atheism is simply reasonable noises that reasonable people make when told that there is a GOD. I would be embarrassed to have that statement associated with me or with a minutes my name appeared on!

The minutes of the meeting needs to be amended or references to my name in any way taken off it. Although the minutes was written by the secretary of the group, as long as my name appears on the minutes under the group name ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’, my objection and disclaimer will continue to be directed at the group ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

I again state categorically that-

- I, Yemisi Ilesanmi has been misrepresented and misquoted in the MINUTES of the meeting of Nigerian Atheists held on February 12, 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria.

-I was appointed Director of the group at the meeting, yet the minutes was not sent to me for amendments or approval, infact the first I saw  of this controversial minutes was on a foreign blog, the minutes was not even posted on ‘Nigerian Atheists’ group page.

- I made a request on the group page to know why I was misquoted and portrayed in the minutes as “Yemisi complainedYemis disagreed” especially considering that it was a group discussion on matters arising at the meeting and all that needed to be made public was the decisions unanimously arrived at the end of the meeting, my request was called “women rantings”!

- I believe the minutes of the meeting was ill motivated especially since it portrays me as a dissident having a constant argument with Kunle Ogunyemi rather than someone sharing her views like other members present at the meeting.

-  I stated on the Nigerian Atheists group page and categorically in the Objection document I posted on the page that the minutes of the meeting was never sent to me as someone present at the meeting and as a director of the organization.

- I made several requests on the Nigerian Atheists group page that if I must be quoted at all in the minutes of the meeting, that I should be accurately represented and quoted.

These requests have so far been ignored by the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi, who wrote the minutes and sent it out for promotion without following due procedures.

The co- director of the group, Dr Tunde Arogundade who was also present at the meeting made several call on Kunle Ogunyemi to amend the controversial minutes to no avail. When the co- director asked Kunle Ogunyemii to recall the controversial minutes of the meeting, Kunle  Ogunyemi claimed that this would cause TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES because it is posted online and amendments can’t be done online.

Now an educated, IT savvy person would know Kunle Ogunyemi just told a blatant lie. Dr Tunde Arogundade is an elderly gentleman who is not IT savvy therefore it was easy for Kunle Ogunyemi to make him believe it was impossible to edit an online document. DR TUNDE AROGUNDADE  HAS NOW RESIGNED AS DIRECTOR OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP.

It is no mystery that ANYONE WHO CREATES A DOCUMENT ONLINE CAN EDIT IT.

What  Kunle Ogunyemi needs to do to amend the minutes of the meeting is-

1- Amend/edit the original document if  saved on his PC

2- Rewrite the minutes if it was not saved, although he can do a copy and paste of the minutes from the foreign blog he sent it to.

3- He should send the amended version to ALL members present at the meeting and POST the approved version on the NIGERIAN ATHEISTS group page.

4- He should call for a RECALL of the controversial minutes from whatever blogs or bloggers he already sent the minutes of the meeting.

5- If it is the wish of the Nigerian Atheists group to promote the MINUTES of their meeting in foreign blogs, he can then send the AMENDED version to wherever he wants to.

All I ask for is that IF AT ALL MY NAME MUST APPEAR ON THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING, I SHOULD AT LEAST BE CORRECTLY QUOTED AND REPRESENTED. However, I see no reason why individuals should be quoted; a public minutes of a meeting should contain what a group unanimously agreed on, not what individuals say or didn’t say.

I am again flabbergasted by these immoral, unethical, two faced lies spurned by Kunle Ogunyemi all in an attempt to satisfy whatever it is that is making him behave in such an irrational manner. I am all for LOGIC, REASON and FACTS and his action so far and that of his supporters have done nothing but proved a total disregard for TRUTH, HONESTY, EQUITY and JUSTICE. CHARACTER IS INDEED WHAT WE DO WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING.

I am aware that every other person that attended the meeting was invited by Kunle Ogunyemi, however this should not justify their304914_209227842473067_100001575579815_591821_3991924_n support of his irrational and malicious action.  When you say “THE MINUTES IS CORRECT BECAUSE Kunle Ogunyemi, Gamba Joel, Leke Adepoju and Andrew Nandip, say so “ ,  this is basically the same thing as a Christian saying.. “GOD EXISTS BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO” or “THE BIBLE IS CORRECT BECAUSE THE BIBLE SAYS SO!” As we as ATHEISTS should know, this is not a valid argument.

The valid argument would be to disprove what I have objected to and prove that due process was followed in the publication of the minutes of the meeting.

Also, you’d have to prove that IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR MY NAME TO APPEAR IN THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING.

All I ask for is a HONEST, OPEN, FACTUAL and LOGICAL discussion…not a show of solidarity influenced by sentiments. I am not on an atheist’s group page for sentimental reasons; I am there to embrace logic, not sentiments.

BTW, asking me to “pipe low” is not a RATIONAL or FAIR DEMAND, I have a right to to be heard and seek redress without censorship from the group under which my name and words has been misrepresented.

It continues to amuse me that people who consider themselves intelligent and rational fail to see the irrationality in their own thoughts and actions basically because they desperately wish to cling to sentiments above any other rationality or facts staring them in the face, they surely share this trait in common with religious fanatics.

The facts have been elucidated in my OBJECTION DOCUMENT to the minutes of the meeting-

1- I was quoted in two places, in the first quote, I was quoted OUT OF CONTEXT, because the particular debate Kunle Ogunyemi associated my quote with was not in the context or debate I used the quote, it was pertaining to a different, unrelated issue.

- Now do I need other persons to validate me on this? NO.

-Has anyone validate me on this?  YES. Dr Tunde Arogundade the co- director who was present at the meeting, agreed that I was misquoted.

2- The second place I was quoted was something I NEVER SAID OR BELIEVE IN. I was grossly MISREPRESENTED by that statement and that statement attributed to me goes against every principle I hold dear as a human right activist. I do not wish to be so misrepresented.

- Gamba Joel who was present at the meeting had admitted in earlier conversations that HE, GAMBA JOEL was the one who made the second comment attributed to me in the minutes of the meeting. In the aftermath of these admissions, is it not logical to amend the minutes?

3- I objected to the use of the words ‘Yemisi complained” Yemisi Disagreed” in this very, childish , unprofessional , badly written minutes of the Nigerian Atheists meeting. My agreements or disagreements were discussions with all members present at the meeting, the points I disagreed with were issues discussed at the meeting, it does not matter which members raised the issues as it was all up for discussion.

It is so unfortunate that Kunle Ogunyemi could not understand the difference between criticizing ideas and his personality; it is like a Christian or Muslim getting angry because you criticized the Bible or Quran.

4- I constructively criticized the Mission statement Hotem Dajenid and Kunle Ogunyemi drafted and some members of the Nigerian Atheists group who read my objection document and comments have said that they agreed with my take on the Mission statement of this group. Now, the Mission statement was up for discussion because nothing should be above criticism, not even the Holy Mission Statement drafted by Hotem Dajenid and Kunle Ogunyemi.

5- The meeting eventually came to an agreement on the Mission statement but did Kunle Ogunyemi post the agreed Mission statement? NO. Kunle Ogunyemi went ahead to post the original Mission Statement WITHOUT THE AMENDMENTS AGREED AT THE MEETING.

Dr Tunde Arogundade even confirmed that KUNLE OGUNYEMI told him the reason he didn’t send the minutes to me was because he knew I was going to complain about the Mission Statement.

Wow! If the minutes ACCURATELY RECORDED what was agreed at the meeting, why should Kunle Ogunyemi be afraid that I would criticize his HOLY MINUTES?

And is the purpose of sending minutes round to members not to allow members make necessary AMENDMENTS? So Kunle Ogunyemi chose to send the minutes only to people who would NOT DARE DISAGREE WITH HIM. Hmmm….How could anyone who claims to value facts and Logic thinks this is ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR?

Now a crucial fact of the case remains that DUE PROCESS WAS NOT FOLLOWED BEFORE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING WAS MADE PUBLIC, NOTHING, NO AMOUNT OF TANTRUMS, SILENCE, BIGOTRY, SECRETS PHONE CALLS, SOLIDARITY OR SENTIMENTS CAN CHANGE THIS FACT.

In every meeting ESPECIALLY in a MINORITY meeting, every member has the right not to have their name mentioned in a public document, I have the right to demand that my name be removed from the minutes of the meeting. THIS IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE.

A professional minutes does not include names of who said what, who disagreed, or who complained, it only include the general decisions arrived at, why does Kunle Ogunyemi feel the need to mention names?

I state again, IF AT ALL I MUST BE QUOTED IN THE MINUTES OF THE NIGERIAN ATHEISTS MEETING, I insist that I should be correctly quoted and my words not taken OUT OF CONTEXT. This is my right, and a very LOGICAL and RATIONAL demand.

A healthy debate is good for the development of human mind but an INJUSTICE especially when done intentionally and maliciously bear humanity no good. Equity demands that “Where there is a Wrong, there must be a Right”.

I have been maliciously represented and misquoted in the minutes of the meeting that gave birth to this group, ‘Nigerian Atheists’. This wrong can be easily righted through an amendment of the minutes. It is not even a must that my name should appear in the minutes of the meeting as I definitely no longer wish to be associated with the characters and principles of some major persons in the Nigerian Atheists group.

I do not wish to have a minutes of a meeting where I was misrepresented and misquoted, circulating online. The minutes of the meeting should be recalled and amended and we can all go our separate ways. JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.

Moving on without JUSTICE is not an option; it is a cowardly way out. I have been misrepresented in the minutes of the Nigerian425432_265441616863221_126894987384552_609382_453469780_n Atheists group; I will keep on demanding that this is rectified. It is not trolling, it is not vindictiveness, it is not ego, it is simply STANDING UP FOR MY RIGHT NOT TO BE MISREPRESENTED AND MISQUOTED.

I am never tired of standing up for rights and will do everything LOGICAL to make my case and defend my rights. As Einstein said, the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them and do nothing.

(This was first posted on 24 June, 2012  on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes, my old blog and now posted here for easy reference.)

Related Articles-

-PUBLIC DISCLAIMER AND OBJECTION TO THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 12, 2012

-NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP: THE GENESIS AND REVELATION OF ITS BIGOTRY, SEXISM AND PATRIARCHAL TENDENCIES!’

-Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

Related articles on the subject of Nigerian Atheists group and its controversial minutes and conduct.

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Following the refusal of  the Secretary of Nigeria Atheists group, Kunle Ogunyemi to amend the minutes of the meeting as necessary and follow due process in seeking approval for publication, the co- director of the Nigerian Atheists group Dr Tunde Arogundade has also tendered his resignation. I have also resigned as Director of Nigerian Atheists group.

I, YEMISI ILESANMI, HEREBY STATE THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING CONTAINS INACCURACIES AND I DO NOT WISH TO BE ASSOCIATED IN ANY WAY WITH THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’. THANK YOU

 

 

May 25 2014

PUBLIC DISCLAIMER AND OBJECTION TO THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 12, 2012

THIS IS A PUBLIC DISCLAIMER BY YEMISI ILESANMI ON THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF NIGERIAN ATHEISTS GROUP HELD IN ABUJA, NIGERIA ON FEBRUARY 12 2012. THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING CONTAINS INACCURACIES AND YEMISI ILESANMI DOES NOT WISH TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’. THANK YOU. (This was first posted on 24 June, 2012  on the Nigerian atheist group Facebook page, my Facebook notes, my old blog and now posted here for easy reference.)

OBJECTION TO THE WAY I WAS MISREPRESENTED AND MISQUOTED IN THE UNAPPROVED MINUTES OF THE NIGERIAN ATHEISTS MEETING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2012.

Dear Nigerian Atheists members,

I am obliged to make some clarifications pertaining to the minutes of the 1st ever meeting of Nigerian Atheists group posted by the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi.

The minutes of the meeting should have been sent round to all members present at the meeting and at least to all officials for amendments and approval before being made public, this to the best of my knowledge was not done, if done, it was certainly not sent to me,  I actually just read the minutes of the meeting for the first time on this blog SkepticMoney.  (http://www.skepticmoney.com/the-nigerian-atheists-organization-has-formed-we-are-everywhere/)

The minutes of the meeting was NEVER posted on the Nigerian Atheists group page, but FIRST ended up in a FOREIGN BLOG! BTW, why should the minutes of the meeting be posted in a foreign blog as promotional stuff?

The Co- Director of the group Nigerian Atheists, Dr Tunde Arogundade also confirmed that the secretary of the group, Kunle Ogunyemi, did not consult with him before asking foreign bloggers to publish the minutes of the group meeting.

This is not good practice.

I am not aware if other members that attended the meeting were sent this minutes for amendment and approval  but I do know the minutes was never sent to me.

First and foremost, I am raising the objection that the meeting minutes do not in any way accurately represent my views during the meeting. In fact the meeting minutes seems to have been written in bad faith and smirks of an attempt to portray me as a dissident without accurately representing why I dissented and where I dissented. The two places I was mentioned in the minutes of the meeting state and I quote-

 Yemisi Ilesanmi talked about her personal effort in promoting reason and combating religious fundamentalism through her blog and facebook page; however, she opposed the clarion call that atheists should work to convince religionists to give up their religion for reason. Defending her argument, she asked if there is any standard to prove that atheistic views are the right or the superior ones and added that being atheist does not interpret as being intelligent or super intelligent. This position resorted into an argument between Ogunyemi Adekunle and Yemisi Ilesanmi but Prof. Tunde was able to put the argument to rest and urge the meeting to move to the next item.

 My Objection-

As I recalled, I strongly and still strongly hold the view that ATHEISM is not about CONVERTING religious believers to give up their religion but about promoting Logic and Reason to religious and non religious believers.   The statement “she asked if there is any standard to prove that atheistic views are the right or the superior ones and added that being atheist does not interpret as being intelligent or super intelligent” has nothing to do with the reason I objected to the opinion that Atheism is a ‘Conversion Tool’ to preach the gospel of atheism to believers. I was quoted out of context.

Also, I remember using the statement about atheists not necessarily being intelligent than others when talking about my experience with African homophobic atheists and also during a particular heated debate when one of the Nigerian Atheists group members present said he would circumcise his female child, because it is part of culture. Yes, I spoke out against circumcision and indeed reiterated in that heated debate that being an atheist does not automatically mean you are more intelligent, just that you are intelligent enough not to belief in the existence of a god or spiritual being. However, I have been grossly misrepresented in the minutes of the meeting and quoted out of context.

The second line where I was mentioned states and I quote

 Yemisi Ilesanmi complained that the mission is too broad and called for it to be cut down to cover only atheists rights; explaining that Nigerian Atheists Organization should have a singular focus of fighting for atheists’ rights in Nigeria rather than all encompassing rights activism.Ogunyemi Adekunle disagreed with this position, pointing it out that; atheistic values go beyond the mere defense of atheists’ liberty….

My objection-

Now, I strongly object to the words “Yemisi Ilesanmi COMPLAINED”, I recollect us having a discussion around this issue, we all had our opinions on whether it should be called a manifesto or a mission statement, it was not a complaint, it was an expression of opinions.

Also, I have once again being gravely misrepresented because at no point did I say “Nigerian Atheists Organization should have a singular focus of fighting for atheists’ rights in Nigeria rather than all encompassing rights activism”.

I am known for my human rights activism which is all encompassing and include workers rights, lesbians, gay, bisexuals, transsexual rights (LGBT), sex workers rights campaigns , gender and youth issues. I basically try to include all progressive organisations in my various campaigns for human rights, so why should I be wrongly quoted as saying “Nigerian Atheists Organization should have a singular focus of fighting for atheists’ rights in Nigeria rather than all encompassing rights activism”.

What are atheists’ rights? Are these “atheists’ rights” divorced from major fundamental human rights like FREEDOM OF RELIGION that are guaranteed in Nigerian constitution and various international laws that Nigeria is a signatory to?

Seeing that this minutes flagrantly misrepresent all that I stand for and blatantly misquote me, I am demanding that the minutes be recalled from wherever it has been sent to and amended to reflect my true contributions. I would hate to have to post on every website page this minutes appears on, a correction of what I allegedly said and please I do not like to be so misrepresented and would want this corrected as soon as possible.

Also, I am using this opportunity to formally tender my resignation of the post of Director of the group. It is sad that it has to come to this junction again. I recollect that I protested at the meeting that I did not want to be made a director especially following the way I was appointed director without any consultation with me.

I only read about my being a director of Nigerian Atheists group on a post made by Hotem Dajenid in conjunction with Kunle Ogunyemi on my facebook page. I did speak to kunle Ogunyemi to register my thought that I should at least have been consulted before such a decision was made on my behalf and also made public, however, I was told by Kunle Ogunyemi that I should infact consider myself lucky to have the position because there were others who would gladly love to have it.

It was at this junction that I made it clear that, it was not my business to speculate about what others would gladly want or not, but the important thing is how I feel about not been consulted before my name was publicly posted in relation to an official position I was not aware of. I guessed this did not go down well with Kunle Ogunyemi as he misinterpreted my protest more as a sign of egoism rather than the real issue of non consultation.

I brought up this issue at the meeting in Abuja where I made it clear that I did not feel like taking up the post but was prevailed upon by ALL the other members present at the meeting to accept the position of Director of Nigerian Atheists group, which I did on the condition that another person be nominated as a Co-Director, at which point Dr Tunde Arogundade was elected a Co-Director.

I did have some disagreements with Kunle ogunyemi on what the mission of the Nigeria Atheists group was supposed to be but it was all aired during the meeting and everybody contributed their views. However, this Meeting minutes has been written as if I was a lone dissident complaining about everything at that meeting. We all did not agree, I wonder why I had to be misquoted and the fact that I disagreed with some of the points was made a subject matter everywhere my name appeared in the body of the meeting’s minutes. I was not the only one who disagreed with some issues at the meeting, why was “Yemisi Ilesanmi complained”, “Yemisi Ilesanmi disagreed with Kunle Ogunyemi” the main points wherever my name appeared in the minutes of the meeting?

Also, is a public minutes of a meeting not supposed to be about what was unanimously agreed upon and general conclusion reached rather than who agreed or disagreed on issues?

I hope this long but much needed explanation would help clear the air. I do wish the group success, but I can no longer associate with it. I would however appreciate if the meeting minutes where I was misquoted was withdrawn and proper amendment made. Thank you.

Related links-

-Nigerian Atheists Group: Genesis and Revelation of its Patriarchal Tendencies!

-ANALYSIS OF COMMENTS MADE BY TWO FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’.

Nigerian Atheists Group: A story of Bigotry, Sexism and Patriarchy!

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Following the refusal of the Secretary of Nigeria Atheists group, Kunle Ogunyemi to amend the minutes of the meeting as necessary and follow due process in seeking approval for publication, the co-director of the Nigerian Atheists group Dr Tunde Arogundade has also tendered his resignation. I have also resigned as Director of Nigerian Atheists group.

I, YEMISI ILESANMI HEREBY STATE THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING CONTAINS INACCURACIES AND I DO NOT WISH TO BE ASSOCIATED IN ANY WAY WITH THE GROUP ‘NIGERIAN ATHEISTS’. THANK YOU.

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May 17 2014

Love Not Hate: International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

To celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, enjoy this video of the ‘Love Not Hate’ protest rally organised by Nigerian LGBTs in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws. Together We Can End All Forms of Oppression and Discrimination. Happy IDAHOBIT. 

May 14 2014

Boko Haram, #Bringbackourgirls, conspiracy theories, media and the mess called Nigeria.

I have so far refrained from writing about the Nigerian ‘missing girls’ for some reasons. Firstly, I wouldn’t want to cause any more pain to families of the missing girls, if indeed there are missing girls.

download (3) Secondly, I am not a fan of conspiracy theories.

I got a glimpse of just how much Nigerians love conspiracy theories when Lee Rigby was hatched to death on the street of London by Nigerian/British born Islamist fanatics, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. Many Nigerians went into conspiracy frenzy on social networks. They claimed it was all a set up and made the murderers out to be victims of a twisted immigration plot! Surprisingly, many of the conspiracy theorists were self-identified skeptics and freethinkers. I got fed up of their conspiracy theories showing on my newsfeeds that I reached for the block button. One thing I emphasized was how much pain their insensitive posts were causing the bereaved family. So, let’s get this out of the way, I loathe conspiracy theories, not just because they are mostly misguided but because they do tend to cause pains to the victims and their families.

However, I know that silence in the face of oppression is never the answer. if things don’t add up in the Chibok kidnappings, better to voice concerns than keep silent especially since I can’t keep saying ‘No comment’ whenever i am asked to comment on the issue.

Fears and Suspicions

Boko Haram is real. It is a monster that has claimed many innocent lives and blown children up in their dormitories since it started its nefarious activities in Nigeria. However, the sad truth is that some prominent Nigerian leaders and politicians have at one time or the other befriended, dined and wined the monster called Boko Haram in an effort to score a point over their political opponents. It is now blowing up in their faces and unfortunately, it is taking innocent victims and casualties down with it.

When I first read that about 276 girls were kidnapped from Government Girls College, Chibok, Borno state by the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, I thought “oh no, not again!” but I was actually relieved that they were not murdered since Boko Haram is more known for blowing up children  in their dormitories than kidnapping them. To be alive is to have hope. However, as events unfolded, I started wondering if truly 200+girls were kidnapped.

When I saw the headlines by some newspapers and bloggers brandishing a purported interview with one of the 53 girls that allegedly escaped, I suspected foul play. Only a line or two was attributed to the girl and there were contradictions. It didn’t add up. It smacks of a badly written nollywood script.  At that point, I thought it was just some bloggers trying to get hits on their blogs with made up stories. However, recent events point to the possibility that this is beyond irresponsible journalism and overzealous bloggers. It seems in the case of the kidnapped Chibok girls, the more you look, the less you see.

A state of emergency was declared in Borno state before the girls were kidnapped. How come the insurgents did not encounter boko_haram561_2any police road blocks, especially when it is virtually impossible for civilians to go about their legal, normal duties without encountering police palaver? How did the terrorists operate for hours in the night with heavy weapons in a place where there is a curfew?  What is the use of declaring a state of emergency when trucks could be moved into a school to abduct 200+ girls without encountering security barricades?

It took a lot of questions and pressure before the principal of the school could come up with the names of  some of the missing girls. They were supposedly in school to prepare for their GCEs. I presume they are also registered to take the GCEs, so how difficult could it be to get their names and pictures? How is the public supposed to help alert police to sightings of missing persons when they have never seen their pictures? Did they not think that people are bound to ask for names and pictures of the missing girls? Why on earth did some people, especially northern leaders, take it as an affront? Why turn this simple, logical request into a political row?

Nigeria is a country where people can be paid to do anything or be anything you want them to be.  It is a country where unionists sometimes pay workers to join workers’ protests for minimum wage. Nigeria is a country where you can pay strangers to cry at a funeral and pretend they are relatives or friends of the deceased. The belief is that people wailing and crying their eyes out at a funeral is a sign that the deceased was a good person. Needless to say the cries of the paid strangers is a spectacle all on its own.

What is my point here? I was not surprised when it was pointed out that the woman who was arrested during the meeting with the first lady, had earlier claimed that her daughter was one of the abducted girls. It turned out this was a lie. While her arrest on the alleged order of the first lady (who actually has no such power but of course little facts like this won’t stop power drunk Nigerians from exercising powers they don’t actually have and won’t stop ass-licking police officers from doing the bidding of the rich and powerful) is despicable one must not lose sight of the damage false claims like this does to police investigations.

It is one thing to organise protests to demand the return of the abducted girls but it is quite another to give misleading information that could actually jeopardise the investigation. Her actions could very well be termed as perverting the course of justice, which is a very punishable offence in democratic countries. So while we condemn the actions of the First lady, do not forget to condemn the false information this woman fed the public. Which also begs the question, how many other women out there have falsely claimed that their children were among those kidnapped?

It was also reported that the President paid 1 million naira each to the parents of the missing girls. I doubt if this was true, but well, it is Nigeria and it could well be true.  If true, one must wonder, what is the payment for? How come we couldn’t have the names of the entire 276 missing girls but somehow, the president had names of their parents and paid out a million naira to each of them? Was it a death payment? If this was a case of fabricated lies, irresponsible reporting or more dirty politicking, there is a danger that this would cause more people to falsely claim that their daughters were taken. Yes, if money would be paid, many Nigerians would try out their luck to claim the bounty.

These children were missing for 3 weeks and little or no action was taken by the government. However, when the hashtag  #Bringbackourgirls went viral and international government got involved, seasoned and emergency activists started organising protests. Where exactly are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends of the missing girls? We have not really read much or seen the faces of the 276 aggrieved parents of these missing girls. While doing a little online research on this, I stumbled on this post which said the villagers actually tried to ambush Boko Haram terrorists with sticks and machetes shortly after their children were kidnapped. If true, how brave of them!

Which again brings us to the question, where were the security force when this was going on? The villagers allegedly gave a statement at a police station when Boko Haram group was still very near, but nothing was done. Has the DPO been questioned about this? Has any punitive measures been taken against the officers or are they part of a higher conspiracy to protect Boko Haram whenever they operate?

A lot of security votes go to the area considered prone to Boko Haram attacks. Governors enjoy bounties in the name of providing security which judging by the deplorable state of security in their states, they never did. Is it too much to ask that these Governors account for the security monies allocated to their states? Or is it a case of ‘Touch not my anointed or else we will all go down’?

I fear that even if no one was kidnapped, if it was just a ploy to destabilise the election campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan by the disgruntled northern politicians and a ploy which was played to the fullest by opposition parties like ACN, in all this nasty politicking, we must not lose sight of what is at stake; innocent victims.

Yes, my fear is that even if no one was initially kidnapped, the terrorist group have been provided a goldmine to exploit in this tragedy. If they have not already done so, they are likely to kidnap some girls or who knows, come to some arrangement with some 10372590_633696880042163_1323557924011214755_nnorthern leaders to provide some girls as bait. I suspect that even the girls that were shown on the video reciting the Quran could just be an arranged political clip. Yes, Nigeria is in such a mess that its leaders wouldn’t hesitate to drag us deeper into their dirty politics.

The Governor of Borno state, Governor Shettima  ordered three days of prayer and fasting in the state and now he is suddenly receiving messages about the intentions of Boko Haram. I wonder why, after insistently claiming that they do not know the whereabouts of the abducted girls, Governor Shettima and the Northern Elders suddenly have information on the whereabouts of the abducted girls?

As #Bringbackourgirls went viral and international support grew, the northern leaders now have information materialising from thin air that Boko Haram does not intend to harm the girls but would consider trading the girls for imprisoned Boko Haram members. This is highly suspicious plus it provides a very dangerous if lucrative reason for Boko Haram to have some girls in custody to carry out the exchange.

Northern Elders have said that the Government ”should pay billions as ransom to Shekau and release all detained Boko Haram members” and that there must be ”no foreign forces in Nigeria”. They have also demanded that ”force should not be used” in securing the freedom of the abducted girls. Really, i mean really?

So yes, my fear is that even if they did not have any girl in custody, they have an excuse to want to kidnap girls or at least have girls they can bargain with. So in all these dirty politicking, there are bound to be innocent victims. And from all angles, the victims are bound to be innocent girls, forcefully kidnapped or actually pawned out by their parents or family members. Yes, I fear that this is about to get dirtier. And if children are not already the victims, they will be the victims.

International security forces

There is no gainsaying that Nigeria is a mess. I am happy that the international community is finally getting involved. However, we need to be clear on the terms of involvement. Is this a humanitarian intervention out of the goodness of the heart of the countries offering to help or is it purely a business download (1)transaction?

If it is a business transaction, how much exactly is it going to cost Nigeria if it accepts the help offered by USA, Britain and China to find the missing girls and fish out Boko Haram?

As I said about the Syria crisis, I do not care if the cost of saving lives involve paying with oil or diamonds because lives are more important than mineral resources. However, it would be helpful if the USA, Britain, China and whatever other international community offering to help would just state clearly on what terms they are offering the help.

These countries have an expertise Nigerian clearly lacks. The question is, are  they offering this expertise for free because they care so much about the missing girls and truly want to bring their abductors to book or is their expertise going to involve oil barrels and/or having a hand in choosing the next ‘elected’ Nigerian government officials? It would really be appreciated if Nigerians know the terms and conditions of this ‘generous humanitarian’ efforts to #bringbackourgirls and hopefully bring Boko Haram to justice.

Yes, Nigerian government is corrupt. Nigerians already know this, so US Secretary of State John F. Kerry is not exactly telling us anything new. I don’t think US is in Nigeria to do a survey of how corrupt the Nigerian government is. The mission is to help #bringbackourgirls. Nigerians already have a good idea of how corrupt our government is, thank you.

Nigeria, a hotbed of hypocrisy 

Nigeria is a mess. The northern leaders who are suddenly aghast that children are going to be sold as brides have forgotten that they are also the ones who introduced sharia law into Northern parts of the country with the hope that they could use it to justify their many child brides. Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, who introduced Sharia law when he was Zamfara State Governor, is a known paedophile and he justifies his penchant for underage child brides using the Quran. Today, he is a serving Nigerian senator. The lawmakers that are today condemning Boko Haram for its threat to sell the missing girl as brides, were all guests at this paedophile’s wedding to the 13 year old girl he bought. The hypocrisy is truly disgusting.

Nigerian Lawmakers sit everyday with this known paedophile, making laws for the country. They lack the moral ground to cry wolf over the intention of Boko Haram to sell the abducted girls as brides. After all, when the paedophile in their midst bought his child bride, they all celebrated with him at the National Mosque and congratulated him on importing a beautiful 13 year old child to add to his harem of child brides. Yes. Nigeria is a hotbed of hypocrites

Media mob mentality

I wonder why it took the media and international community so long to eventually acknowledge that the abduction of three hundred imagesgirls was worth reporting. The kidnap was reported in all major Nigerian newspapers more than 3 weeks ago, some foreign newspaper also published it. The report managed to make the obscure corners of some international news and foreign papers.

However, the minute a deranged looking black man who calls himself Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, posted a video where he threatened to sell the kidnapped girls because, well, girls are supposed to be wives not go to school, this was all it took to incite the international community. Suddenly, the video raised the ire of civilised nations. “Who does this barbarian thinks he is?”, they asked. “Are Africans still this barbaric?”, many wondered. “Islam is really the religion of the insane”, many concluded. “Let us go as white knights in shining armours and rescue the girls!”, they screamed!

Hmm, the girls were not deemed newsworthy or worthy of rescue just three weeks ago, but well, post a video of a black Islamic terrorist ranting that girls should not be educated and threatening to sell the missing girls off as child brides,  and we suddenly have no shortage of white knights in shining armours.

Help is good, but it would be great to know one can get help without relying on media shock tactic.

My problem with the hastag ‘#bringbackourgirls’

The hashtag #Bringbackourgirls makes me cringe. ‘Our’ denotes property. The girls are not our property; they are humans withdownload names and faces. They don’t belong to us. They don’t belong to the terrorists. They are not even the properties of their parents because children are not properties.

It is a cultural language that I loathe so much. ‘Our wife’ is often used by the in-laws of a woman basically to denote that she is their property. When an African man takes his girlfriend home to meet his family and they start referring to her as ‘our wife’, beware. Although, most women see it as a sign of acceptance into the family, but underneath the facade is that patriarchal connotation that she is now their property. I loathe it when anyone refers to me as ‘Our wife’ or ‘OUR women’ because many tend to use this when talking about the ‘chastity’ of ‘their’ women, of ‘their’ African women.  ‘Our women’ or ‘our girls’ are words used to keep women in line, it says: You belong to us. You will do as you are told. You will keep the honour we impose on you. You will live up to the roles we set for you because you are OUR Woman.

Therefore, when I see the hashtag #Bringbackourgirls, I cringe. I cringe because it strikes me as yet another way of saying the girls belong to us. The girls are our property, not that of Boko Haram but are our own property, the property of Nigerians, the property of the world. No, they are not our property. They are their own person and they deserve our help whether or not they are OURS!

Some foreigners are leaving such comments like “No, these abducted girls are not our American girls. They are not our British girls. They are Nigerian girls, they are Nigeria’s problem.” Hmm, can we just pause a minute to recognise that it is not about whether they are our property or not, but that they are first and foremost vulnerable human beings in dire need of help.

Conspiracy theorists 

For the conspiracy theorists who are so opposed to America coming into Nigeria to provide the intelligence work needed in eradicating Boko Haram, because they are convinced the big old evil capitalist America is after Nigeria’s oil, I’d say, so what? Your ramblings about America coming into the country just for your oil are pathetic. It is pathetic not because it does not have a ring of truth to it, but because Nigerians might actually fare better economically if our damn oil was controlled by entities other than our corrupt government and its cronies.

All Nigerians have to show for the Federal government control of our oil is lack of stable electricity supply, deteriorating educational system, lack of basic amenities, no good water, no security. Many Nigerian families have lost a loved one to road accidents caused by bad roads. Access to good healthcare is nonexistent. Unemployment is so high that it is a surprise that the poor are not eating the rich in broad day light yet. What good thing do Nigerians have to show for government control of our oil? Misplaced pride, I guess.

Yes, I wouldn’t want America or any other country to come into Nigeria to play dirty politics, which is why I would rather all Nigerians make a loud call to ask America, UK or China to declare exactly what the payment for their help would be. Let us know, let all Nigerians know. Maybe this would stop the conspiracy theories. Maybe this would help save us from a corrupt government telling us in 10 years time that the money we think they are looting is actually going towards paying for America’s help in eradicating Boko Haram.

All I am saying is, as a Nigerian, I appreciate any help that would eradicate Boko Haram, but please state your terms very clearly. Let us know what we are paying and let us get our money’s or oil’s worth. Transparency and accountability are what we demand from the forces coming into our country. I know it is sad that we cannot even trust our own government to give us accountability and transparency. However, those are words American government throw around a lot, so maybe, just maybe, in this transaction to bring back the missing girls and help eradicate Boko Haram, America can please respect us enough to show accountability and transparency even when our own Nigerian government won’t honour us with such words or actions.

One thing that is unfortunately glaring is that children (if not already) will be the victims in all these dirty politicking. No child deserves to be used as pawn in the dirty mess that is Nigeria. Even if it was one child kidnapped, that child deserves to be rescued and if it takes the international community coming in to rescue that child, then so be it. Even if it takes paying with our oil to ensure that no child is ever put in danger by Boko Haram, so be it.  The life of every human being is worth more than oil. If What Americans want for saving the lives of the girls is oil, well, negotiate and give it to them. At least let us know it is a business deal and not a humanitarian crusade.

It is not my wish to add to the confusion out there or fuel the conspiracy theories. However, facts must be examined.  Boko Haram is an evil entity that must be wiped out. Right now, it is not about who created and fed the monster. If those who created the monster that has now grown beyond their control can be brought to book, that would be great. However, the most important thing is , if there are  kidnapped girls held by Boko Haram, let us do all we can to rescue them from the clutches of evil, and ensure no one is ever made a victim of the terrorist group again.

May 08 2014

Why Are Many Nigerian Christians So Stupid? (Part 2)

Below is another stupid message from one of the many stupid Nigerian Christians who have made it their duty to force down their blue eyed blonde Jew saviour called Jesus, down my throat. I posted on my Facebook wall excerpts from my blogpost  ‘Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful:My 24 hour ordeal with religion‘ and this person decided to respond by sharing the post on his wall and tagging me with the following response:

Ikechukwu Nwanze edited

Yemisi, History is all planned out. Everything is in stages. When God’s time came to move The Gospel around the world, He made Constantine, emperor of Rome, embrace and adopt Christianity. Then Europe went on exploration of foreign lands – Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, England, etc. The Gospel spread, although so did atrocities, pillaging, etc. God is in charge. He has planned out history. What would the world have been had Christianity not outlawed human sacrifice and all forms of idolatry. Yemisi would have been a helpless woman only good as pleasure object of some king, chief or egoistic male chauvinist. Thank God for Christianity, Yemisi. Jesus reigns!…

According to this ignoramus called Ikechukwu Nwanze, history is all planned out by God. God is in charge. Well going by his stupid belief of Ikechukwu and others who share his belief, enslavement of his black ancestors and the plundering of his ancestral land by European invaders were parts of Gods plan. It was all part of God’s plan to make the invaders spread the Gospel while committing atrocities and pillaging their way through other people’s lands. And going by the latest happenings in Nigeria, God made Boko Haram kidnap the missing 200 girls. It was all part of God’s master plan because God is always in control.

The stupid black Christian asked

What would the world have been had Christianity not outlawed human sacrifice and all forms of idolatry.

Obviously Ikechukwu Nwanze thinks that before the advent of Christianity, his forefathers were busy making human sacrifices and spent their life worshiping idols. This ignoramus believes that without Christianity, we will all be busy killing ourselves, living in trees and carving out idols to worship.  Oh, for how long can we continue to blame the thinking of brainless people like Ikechukwu Nwanze on colonialism? He obviously has failed somewhere along the line to switch on the brain that took billions of years to evolve. What a waste of space!

As Harriet Tubman said “I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.552676_270004219765868_248722762_nSuch is the pathetic case of many black Christians. If only they would emancipate themselves from mental slavery.

What this brainless black Nigerian Christian is saying is that without Christianity, he would in this age, be making human sacrifices and worshiping idols. Well, I do know that there are laws criminalising the killing of another human being. It is part of our evolved legal system and this has nothing to do with Christianity. Before missionaries invaded Africa with their Christianity, there were and still are native laws criminalising murders. Why do brainwashed black people like Ikechukwu Nwanze think before the advent of Christianity, their forefathers were murderous people intent on sacrificing their fellow human beings to Idols? As Chris Rock rightly observed “A black Christian is like a black person with no memory

As per worshiping of idols, one thing that is sure is that the likes of Ikechukwu Nwanze still worship idols. Or what do they think the cross /crucifix they wear and pray to, is?

Dear Christian, your cross/crucifix is simply an idolatry carving of a semi-naked tortured man nailed to a cross. That you have replaced the carved idols worshiped by your forefathers with a wooden or golden cross does not change the fact that you are still idol worshipers.

Your Jesus is an idol.733855_10151287224441261_1129037980_n

Your crucifix is an idol figure.

Your rosary is an idol figure.

The symbolic eating of the flesh and blood of your precious Jesus Christ at mass is an idolatry practice.

Your cross is a symbol of execution, not of salvation.

Some of us do not need religion to tell us what is good or bad. Morals just like human beings predates religion, religion does not predate morals. As Albert Einstein said, “If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for a reward, we are a sorry lot indeed”. And to quote Christopher Hitchens, “Human decency is not derived from religion, it precedes it.” 

I’d advice you get educated and grow a brain before throwing your religious rubbish at me. As Steven Weinberg said “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things. But for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”

Ikechukwu Nwanze went on to inform anyone that cares to listen that if not for Christianity

Yemisi would have been a helpless woman only good as pleasure object of some king, chief or egoistic male chauvinist

Actually if I were to be governed by your Christian doctrines, as a woman, I would be expected to never be heard in public, not contest an election and should be stoned to death if found not to be a virgin on my wedding day. Oh, what a lovely equality rights your Christian doctrines confer on women! I must say, thank God your bible is not my constitution!

You seem to have forgotten that the beloveths of your God in the bible were some egoistical male chauvinist kings, Solomon and David readily comes to mind. In fact your bible heroes are mostly male chauvinist pigs just like your God.  Like father like son, one would say.

Your God endorses slavery and discrimination still you want me to hold your God in high esteem. You really must be very stupid!  I wonder if you Christians read your bible after all, to most Christians, the bible is like a software licence, nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click “I agree”.

You really think your Christianity came to free me from the shackles of patriarchy? Hmm, your bible and Skydaddy says otherwise. Do you even read your bible at all? Now, let me quote some bible verses that illustrate just how well I would fare as a black person and a woman if your bible was federal constitution.

Leviticus 25:44-46 (New International Version)

44 Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

 

1 Timothy 2:11-15 (New International Version)

11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

 

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (King James Version)

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 (New International Version)

20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found,21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

This, dear deluded Christian, is what your bible preaches.

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However, Ikechukwi Nwanze still advised

Thank God for Christianity, Yemisi.

Yeah, thank God that a Skydaddy got bored 4,000 years ago and decided to create the universe in six days.

Thank God that this Skydaddy created the first human being whom he named Adam out of clay and created the first woman out of one of Adam’s ribs.

Thank God that this Skydaddy planted a tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden and asked that Adam and Eve should not eat from it as eating from it would, horrors of horrors, make them wise!

Thank God that this Skydaddy created a talking snake to tempt Eve to eat from the fruit of Knowledge.

Thank God that the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Skydaddy who according to Ikechukwu Nwanze, had history all planned out, surprisingly did not know that Adam and Eve would ignore his warning and eat from the fruit of life.

Thank God that this God got so angry that he cursed Eve and the whole of womankind with the pains of childbirth and cursed humankind with ‘Original Sin’.

Thank God that even after drowning the whole of planet earth, save for Noah and a pair of every living things in Noah’s ark, thousands of years later, this Skydaddy was still carrying this grudge and anger of betrayal that he still could not could find it in his heart to forgive humans for the ‘Original Sin’ committed allegedly by Adam and Eve.

Thank God that Skydaddy hatched a plan about two thousand years ago that would finally make him able to forgive humankind the ‘original sin’.

Thank God Skydaddy’s plan involved raping and impregnating the virgin fiancé of a carpenter named Joseph.

Thank God that Skydaddy’s plan was to give birth to himself and sacrifice himself on a cross so that he can finally forgive us of this original sin.

Thank God Skydaddy said to himself “I am going to create man and woman with original sin. Then I am going to impregnate a woman with myself as her child so that i can be born. Once alive, I will kill myself as a sacrifice to myself. To save you from the sin I originally condemned you to.”

This, dear deluded Christian, is Christianity explained.

So, before you asked me to thank God for Christianity, let me ask you, why your God couldn’t find it in his heart to forgive without raping, killing, pillaging and sacrificing himself to himself?  What is there to thank God for in such stupid, murderous, egoistic, sadistic and childish tale you call Christianity?

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Ikechukwu Nwanze screams “Jesus reigns!…”

Well, so you say. If Jesus is the reigning monarch, I guess we should blame him for everything that is wrong with this planet. Why bother to blame President Goodluck Jonathan for not finding the missing girls abducted by Boko Haram when clearly Jesus is the reigning ruler?

God is in control, you say. Surely we should put the blame squarely on Jesus, who according to your biblical script is also GOD. Well, tell this reigning Jesus to bring back our missing girls.

Tell your God whom you claim has history planned, that his plan for the abducted girls and the starving children in Africa sucks.

And don’t forget to ask your God why there is a gaping hole where your brain should have been.

 

Related post-  WHY ARE MANY NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS SO STUPID?

Apr 29 2014

Fat shaming is ugly and body shaming of any kind is disgusting.

I was sad when a friend posted the excerpts below as her Facebook status update.

 “So ever since I took the final make-or-break decision in 2013 with my conscience to take responsibility for my physical and mental well-being, I have undertaken to attack fat-boosting realities that engage with me. This includes people who are happy to be fat…as I was years back, when I was fooling around with fads and gadgets, without facing the more imperative thing: My FOOD. Being FAT is synonymous with indolence, depression, poverty, avarice, corruption, lethargy to Good, selfishness…in one word – Corruption.”

This is so wrong and sad on so many levels.

The fact that the writer has decided to take responsibility for her weight issues is good, but that is a personal decision, not a public decree. As she mentioned, it took her many years to get to that stage and only accepted this as her truth in 2013. So why project YOUR truth and body issues on others?

Fat shaming is ugly, body shaming is disgusting. Your truth about your health is YOUR TRUTH. Do not project it onto another especially a complete stranger. Why judge people by their body size or even pocket size? Is telling overweight people to get off their “Fat ass” really your good deed of the day?

Assumptions about plus size people reflect the ignorant perceptions of people in our society. The fact that these assumptions are widely held does not mean they are true. Stereotypes are hardly true for everyone. Stereotypes are dangerous and only tend to create an “Us versus Them” mentality. People are different.

Our bodies are different.There should not be any standard of beauty. Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder. Do we reallyYemisi need another person telling us what we should look like, weigh, how to make our hair, what to wear, who to love, what the size of our tummies should be or what size our bank account should be before we are considered entitled to be free from stigmatization or be treated as human beings deserving of dignity and respect?

Do we, especially women, need one more person telling us we do not meet the standard of beauty set by tabloids, magazines and the general media?  We should be comfortable and happy in our own skin. Trying to look like photoshopped images of models on magazines or movie stars on our screen is only going to drive us into unhealthy eating habits that could prove very dangerous to our physical and mental health.

If you are not my doctor, you have no business telling me what I should weigh. You have no business telling complete strangers to go and lose some weight. Unless people come to us to seek advice on weight matters, we really have no business dishing out such advice especially when we are not in possession of the person’s medical records.

The fact that a particular diet plan or weight loss program worked for you does not mean it would work for another. Because you finally arrived at your truth about your body does not mean you should go about knocking people in the head demanding that they arrive at the same truth you arrived at, about their own body! Taking responsibility for your body is good, but making it your duty to take responsibility for another person’s body is bad. We should never project our body issues on other people.

So for me I don’t care about CURVES or NUMBERS. That’s what some women seek so badly that they hold on to unhealthy body fat…or engage in risky weightloss ventures.

This seems quite at odds with the reality of the day. Yes, there was a time in some African societies when young brides-to-be would be taken to what was then referred to as the “Fattening room” and fed food to fatten them up for their wedding day. This practice is reprehensible and thank goodness it is no longer a common practice. If anything, what is prevalent now are rising cases of would be brides going into panic mood and seriously endangering their lives by engaging in unhealthy diet program  to lose as much weight as possible, so they could look picture perfect on their wedding day.

 We should not create a food phobia, food is not the problem. The type of food we eat and the relationship we have with our food is what we need to examine. Unfortunately, women are being exploited by those who feed off the body insecurities of women and increasingly, men too. More and more, we are seeing an increase in anorexia and bulimia amongst young women. Also, more and more women of all ages are falling into depression because of body image related problems. A trip to fashion stores where plus size women typically struggle to find dresses in their sizes could leave them severely depressed for days. It is like holding an invisible sign with the message “Plus size women are not welcomed in this store, they are an aberration”. Considering that your average woman carries around some extra weight, this is a dangerous message to send to the larger population.

Some men hold their women in ill-health by their need for curves. A fat laden belly is not curvy…so what’s the point?

 Well, so many men also hold their women in ill-health by their need for poking ribs often fuelled by the unrealistic, photoshopped images of models in magazines. No man or woman should have such power over another.

 Fat around your hips indicates problems for your heart…so what’s the point?

The point is, if you are not their personal physician, do not jump to conclusions about the health or heart conditions of anyone based on how thick their hips are.

Beauty comes in different shapes colours and sizes. The world would be a boring place if we all looked alike. Telling people to lose weight is patronizing. Judging complete strangers based on their looks or weight is an indictment on the intelligence of the person making the judgment.

If the actions or looks of others are not encroaching on your rights or bank account, why waste time taking Panadol for another person’s headache? If a woman wants to get the biggest balloons on her chest, as long as she is not tasking me to pay for her breast implants, it is not my headache. If a man wants to break his personal bank account to get the largest penis on earth, as long as I am not obliged to have sex with him, it is not my headache. If people want to cover themselves in piercings and tattoos, as long as they are adults deemed capable of making decisions, it is their right, not my headache. You don’t hear tattooed people complaining about non-tattooed people, it is always, non tattooed people moaning about tattooed people.

 I ventured into plus size modeling as an avenue to address body shaming. There is nothing wrong with being plus size if you are healthy. Also, there is nothing wrong with being skinny if you are healthy. Our looks or most specifically our weight does not automatically tell a stranger our medical records. Most times when people call plus size people ugly, they are not really concerned about their health; they are just echoing the standard of beauty set by the media and also using this as an excuse to put others down.

Fatphobia is a real monster.The fact that you are fat does not mean you cannot be fatphobic. You cannot go around saying “fat people are ugly” and justify it by claiming since you are also fat, what you said was not an insult. It is the same as when white people are called out on a racist comment and they try to defend themselves by claiming they are not racist because they have a black friend.  We know this is bullshit. Being fat does not give you a pass card to call plus size people ugly or unhealthy.

There is beauty in diversity including diverse body shapes and sizes. Sayings like “Real men love women with curves”, “Real women have curves” or “Beautiful women are slim” are all silly.  What standards are we using to determine who a real woman or man is? Beauty in our society is not just personal but political as well. It is my body, my prerogative, my choice, my right. I don’t need others or an imposed big society to dictate to me how I should look, what I should wear or what the gender of my lover should be.

It is my body and I am certainly not giving control of it to anyone especially not to a society that feeds on media crap. We all have different stories. It is wrong to assume that people accumulate body weight because they are lazy. Some people, like me, gain weight because they are on life saving medication that have the side effects of weight gain. Must we choose between losing weight to meet societal beauty standard or take our life saving medications and risk adding weight? Why should we even have to make a choice?

Reuniting with old acquaintances can be irritating especially since the first thing that flies out of their mouth is, “You have added so much weight!” I have learned to respond to such exclamations with a smile accompanied with a firm reminder that my weight is none of their business. I got tired of explaining to people, sometimes complete strangers, that I gained weight because I am on a medication. I just tell them to shove their observation back in their assholes because my weight is not another person’s business and I don’t owe anyone but myself an explanation. Yes, some people put on weight because they eat a lot of junk food, which is their prerogative. It is not our duty to start taking pictures of fat people eating burgers in public places just to shame them. Heck, it is not our duty to take pictures of women or anyone for that matter for the purpose of pubic shaming. If it was possible for some people to criminalize plus size people eating in public, they would gladly do so.

Sometime ago, a man took the picture of a lady  and posted it on what is known as the front page of internet; Reddit, to mock her.

sikh ladyWhy? She was hairy with what appeared to be a moustache and that to him and many others, meant she has broken the beauty code set for women by men like him and of course the media. And in his mind, this justified his action to take the picture of a complete stranger and use the media to humiliate her. But guess what? He got his ass thoroughly whipped by the woman he sought to humiliate. When the post ridiculing her was brought to her attention, the lady who happened to be a Sikh responded with one of the most epic letters ever posted online, and she did it with so much grace, intelligence and eloquence that even her tormentors realized they were wrong and apologized. We should never be hasty to judge others.

I am so tired of hearing the rhetoric “Fat people are unhappy”. It reminds me of those self-righteous people who say things like “Sex workers are so unhappy, let’s liberate them from their chosen profession”. The messiah complex of such persons is just unbelievably patronizing.  It is so wrong to assume that ‘fat’ people live miserable lives and are unhappy. What makes people happy is not necessarily dependent on their looks or body size. Also, what makes you happy is not necessarily a happiness recipe for every other person. The fact that you are happy to run up and down a treadmill several hours a day does not mean others should be happy to do same.  The fact that you derived joy or get high from pumping machines at the gyms does not mean those who do not go to the gym are unhappy people.Your story is not my story. Our story is hardly the story of the person next door. Do not judge others solely based on your story. In fact, why not practice not judging others at all?

There are positive ways we can tell our loved ones to take care of their heath issues including body weights without SDC14174being patronizing or insulting. Don’t assume people do not know they have put on weight since the last time you saw them. Don’t frown disapprovingly or look down is digustingly at your loved ones when you tell them they need to lose weight. Many of us do not understand the adverse effect our words have on others.

Yes, there are ways we can help our loved ones achieve their weight goal. Be supportive; do not be overbearing or judgmental. We should never make anyone feel less lovable or less of a human being because they weigh more than the society dictates.

Our Ideas of beauty differs. For example, I am not a fan of six packs, in fact I cringe when I scroll down my newsfeeds and I am assaulted with pictures of topless guys showing off chiseled chests. I physically cringe and I never really got what the “Wows” were all about. However I have learnt to appreciate specs. I still do not see six packs as a standard of male beauty but at least since enrolling in a gym, and seeing men and women work their butts off to get those six packs, I can appreciate why they want to show it off. It takes commitment to get six packs, so flaunt it if you have it. After all I flaunt my cleavages at every opportunity, and I didn’t even have to work for it, I was just lucky to be born with those balloons.

Fatpbobia is a horrible thing. I watched this video of an interview on ‘This Morning’ show on the topic ‘Can you be big and Happy’ featuring Katie Hopkins and Plus size model, Rachel Copper-Wherry.  The vileness oozing from  the words of Katie Hopkins was to say the least, disgusting. Well, she is a woman who makes a career out of being vile but this, even from her, is just stupefying.

The woman she was debating is a beautiful, wonderful, creative, vibrant and simply fabulous human being. She is a friend and a SAM_1290plus size model I have done some photo shoots with. She is an extremely agile and flexible person and as much as I can tell, in good health. Making such hurtful remarks about people because they have some extra pounds on them is vile, mean and disgusting. Obviously the ugly person in this video is Katie Hopkins. The ugliness that oozes from her inside is enough to poison and kill any exterior beauty she might have.

Many people are overweight yet have a good and active life. We all have different stories. I have been a size 10-12 but I currently fluctuate between a size 18 and 20 but according to my gym weight calculator machine, I should weigh about 65kg. The truth is even if there was a magic wand that I could wave that would turn me into a size 1O; I would not consider the option. I like me best at sizes 14-16, weighing just about 75kg-80kg. I feel my most sexy when I have a bit of meat on me. I am a woman who is easily attracted to women with curves but funny enough; my most serious relationships have not reflected this preference. In the end, character and personality trumps weight, shape, colour, size, gender or whatever I thought sexy looked like.

I watched the second series of  the British drama-comedy ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ and I must say, on the last scene, I was weeping and on my feet giving the insightful writers and amazing actors a standing ovation. There was so much life saving lessons in the inspiring series. When we say all these hurtful words to people about their looks, we must also take responsibility for the horrible things our words made them do.

Everyone has their own issues. Every day we fight our personal demons, be they weight problems, family issues, health SDC13228complications, relationships problems, career problems or whatever our personal issues are. We must understand that every other person we come in contact with have their own issue to deal with. Don’t make your issue the center of the world for another person. Do not complicate the lives of others with your personal issue. Do not force others to be part of your drama. As the saying goes, the world is a stage and we are all players. Even if the world is a stage, please do not force your role on me. Don’t force others to act out your script. Learn to live and let’s live.

Diversity is another name for beauty and every woman should take pride and pleasure in her unique beauty. Embrace beauty in all its diversities!  Whatever size you are, enjoy it, flaunt it, just stay healthy! I love flaunting my curves and boobs of course, but I’ll never disparage any woman without curves or boobs. Beauty comes in different colours, shapes and sizes. There is no ‘one size fits all’ beauty, let’s enjoy and take pride in our special kind of beauty and let no one tell us otherwise!

Apr 26 2014

Avoiding Ableist or Sexist Language Won’t Make Us Less Fun!

I found this amazing campaign on a website and decided to share on my facebook wall.  As stated on the website , “The following are images from the “You Don’t Say?” Campaign out of Duke University. The premise of the campaign is to encourage people to think before speaking as the words one delivers can have negative implications that were never intended in the first place, especially to those around us.

These phrases are often said with harmless intent. But how do we really make those around us feel? Perhaps it’s time for us to actually think before we speak?”

 The images show different persons holding different signs  -

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When I posted this wonderful piece as my FB status update, I added-

 And I don’t say “Don’t be a retard” because it is Ableist .

 As expected, some do not agree with the campaign or my statement. Not many of us are familiar with Ableism and how just like racism or sexism, it exposes some group of people to discrimination and derogatory treatment . I always wanted to write something about ableist language but felt there are already some good blog posts on the subject, so I just end up referring people to those posts. When attempting to respond to some of the comments on my FB wall, especially the comment below,  I realised my response was so long it is a blog post in itself, so I made it a blog post. Happy reading!

 Oh come on, that’s so stingy! There’s a reason why they are called “proverbs”, the word itself is only offensive if you don’t read it in context.

Also some words, like “Pussy” don’t refer to the female gender,the etymology derives from the Latin words “pusillus” and “animus” combining into “pusillanimous”, meaning “Very Small Spirit / No Courage”.

Also the term was used by many ethnic groups to describe Cats.

Now I’m with you for equality and against sexism, but I think there’s a line. If you take things all to serious, people will dismiss you as militant, a militant mindest can never create a common understanding. So what I’m trying to say is that you should have a bit of self-humour, I mean those proverbs derived over hundred of years, they are part of everyday culture and used all around the word, even by LGBT people who don’t think they’re offensive. If you really want to change the world, you can’t just deny everything, embrace it with all it’s faults and change it slowly over time. Forbidding someone to say words is the same as forbidding someone to be gay. People say those proverbs but they don’t mean them, they don’t project “Man up” with gay people or “pussy” being negative just because it’s female, we use them because they are proverbs, but we aren’t thinking the stuff that’s written on this image. When we say “Pussy” we don’t mean “Ohh you’re such a female, females are all weak, so you’re a coward”, no, we just mean “You’re a coward”.

It’s dangerous to interpret that everyone who’s saying these proverbs is a sexist or albeist, that’s just not trueYemisi, as much as I respect and honor your opinion, but I can’t be in on this one with you.

The sentiments expressed in the above comment are similar to the ones I have heard people express whenever the subject of sexism, ableism or even racism comes up. Therefore, I will try and respond to it as thoroughly as I can.

  • “Oh come on, that’s so stingy!”

There is nothing stingy about asking people to think about the impact their words would have on others before they speak. It does not matter whether your intent was to hurt or just be funny, what matters is the impact on the persons concern.

  •  “There’s a reason why they are called “proverbs”-

 I don’t know what your idea of ‘proverbs’ is but I can tell you that calling people “pussies”, “bitches”, “retarded” or  using the expression “This is so gay” to refer to something you think is stupid, have nothing to do to with proverbs. These are not proverbs; they are insults, derogatory insults.

  • “the word itself is only offensive if you don’t read it in context.”

These words are even more offensive when they are read in context. If I am called a “bitch” or “cunt” by a man or even another woman, I know this has to do with my gender and the stereotype of what a nasty, manipulative, ambitious or aggressive woman is. Fathoming the particular stereotype they are referring to would be apparent from the context of what led to them calling me a “bitch”, “pussy” or “cunt”. The context makes the insult and sexism much more apparent.

When a man is called a pussy by a fellow man or even a woman, the context makes it even more offensive. Studies and 422634_2822985968404_1512899802_nexperience have shown that one of the worst insults you can throw at a man is to call them a “Pussy” or a “Woman”. Call a man a pussy, he either punches you in the face or go all out to prove that he can ‘man up’. Tell a woman she acted like a man and she goes all grinning and even offer you a “thank you” because this is considered one of the highest compliments you can give a woman. This is sad.

Whenever people are called out on using the word pussy as a derogatory remark, the defense is always invariably aimed at an attempt to inform us about cats. This does not in any way take away from the fact that ‘pussy’ in the context used does not in any way refer to cats, but to vaginas and its supposed weakness and all other negative stereotypes typically associated with being a woman with a vagina.

  •  “Now I’m with you for equality and against sexism, but I think there’s a line”.

No. For me, there is no line to be drawn when calling out sexism, racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia or ableism. If it is bad, it is bad.

  • “If you take things all to serious, people will dismiss you as militant, a militant mindest can never create a common understanding”-

It does not matter what people take me as, what matters is what I take myself as. l do not allow people to define me, I define myself. Also, others acceptance or dismissal of me is not a validation of the rightness or wrongness of my cause.  Just saying, I do not seek validation from others before I act or continue to act on issues I care about.  Also, opinions are like assholes, we all have one. So I won’t lose sleep because my perceived ‘militancy’ would supposedly stop people from having a common understanding. The foundation of my activism is based on the fact that every human being is born free and equal in rights and dignity regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, circumstances of birth or any other status. If there is no common understanding around this basic fact, it still would not stop me from acting decisively to assert this fact.

  • “So what I’m trying to say is that you should have a bit of self-humour”76562_507127119315763_786930123_n

It is self-humour when I am laughing at myself, but it is no longer just self-humour when I am laughing at myself at the expense of another. For instance, if I say to myself “Oh, I am so retarded, how could I say that!” Well, it is not just laughing at myself but actually insulting those who are medically diagnosed with such condition. Deliberately laughing at myself while using insulting and derogatory language to describe the medical condition of another is no longer self-humour, It is downright irresponsible and mean.

  • “I mean those proverbs derived over hundred of years, they are part of everyday culture and used all around the word, even by LGBT people who don’t think they’re offensive.”

Again, these are not proverbs, not even close to it. Also, because something or a language is part of everyday culture or usage does not make it right or wrong. Culture is not a determinant of right or wrong.  Also, when a word is used, it becomes normalized. However, we must always remind ourselves that because something is considered normal does not mean it is always right. ‘Normal’ only means it is common, not that it is correct or right.

And most importantly because you do not find the word ‘pussy’, ‘bitch’ or ‘so gay’ offensive, does not mean everybody else should not find it offensive. And vice versa. The fact that some blacks call themselves niggas does not mean it is ok to call every black person a nigga. And the fact that a black person is comfortable calling himself a nigga does not mean he has the right to stand on a podium and call every other black person in the audience a nigga.

If a gay person is OK with the expression ‘so gay’, they should not get so defensive when others call them out on enabling a negative stereotype about a sexual orientation or gender identity.

A woman might be OK with calling herself a bitch, but it is not ok to go around calling other women she disagrees with, ‘bitches’. This only serves to enable, entrench and enforce the patriarchal, sexist and societal stereotype of women.

  • “If you really want to change the world, you can’t just deny everything, embrace it with all it’s faults and change it slowly over time .”

Sorry, this is definitely not my philosophy of life.  I am not intent on changing the world; I am concerned about making the world a 577637_10151010819121873_455428710_nbetter place, starting with myself and my interactions with others. This includes being conscious of how my words and actions impact on those around me. Also, this definitely includes how I make people around me feel through my actions and words.

And why “change it slowly over time”? The impacts of my words and actions can be immediate. Surely, I do not have to wait a decade before I am comfortable enough to tell people not to call me a “pussy”, a “bitch” or use the word “retarded” or “so gay” to describe people. I think it is a matter of urgent importance and I don’t have to take it slowly. I’d rather the world evolve quick enough to play catch up and understand that words can immediately hurt  and that the impact of these derogatory, sexist, ableist or racist words can take a lifetime to heal.

  • “Forbidding someone to say words is the same as forbidding someone to be gay.”

 No, this is definitely not true. You have the choice to say good things or bad things to people. You also have the choice to make people feel good or feel bad with your words and actions, but you do not have the choice to make people be gay or not gay. BTW, I can forbid someone from saying hateful things about me by going to court to enforce certain rights including invoking the laws against hate speech, but I cannot forbid anyone from being gay , lesbian, bisexual , intersex or transsexual or left handed.

  • “People say those proverbs but they don’t mean them, they don’t project “Man up” with gay people or “pussy” being negative just because it’s female, we use them because they are proverbs, but we aren’t thinking the stuff that’s written on this image. When we say “Pussy” we don’t mean “Ohh you’re such a female, females are all weak, so you’re a coward”, no, we just mean “You’re a coward”.”

 Oh, I can’t even begin to explain just how wrong this statement or sentiment is. When a man is scolded with the remark “Don’t be a pussy”, he is not being told “Don’t be a cat”  and it is surely not just telling him not to be a coward, it is more than that. It is generally meant to mean “Do not be that disgusting, weak vagina” and we all know this. Men do not get offended for being called a “pussy” because they were likened to a cat or a coward; they get offended because they were likened to a woman, more precisely, a vagina.

Also, when a man or even woman refers to a woman as a “bitch”, they are not conjuring up the image of a “dog”. The word “bitch” has come to be synonymous with negative attitudes attributed to women e.g Manipulative, Mean, Aggressive, Controlling etc. All attributes that are deem undesirable for a woman to exhibit in a patriarchal society. We can try to kid ourselves and pretend that those words just mean cats and dogs, but burying our head in the sand like the ostrich would only make us part of the problem not the solution.

As someone else admitted on the post thread “I call myself a bitch sometimes. Most times, others do the calling.” Yes, I alsoLOUDMOUTH BITCH used to call myself a bitch like a decade ego, and more recently I used it in an attempt to reclaim the word “bitch”. However, there is a very thin line between reclaiming a word and entrenching a stereotype.

When people call me “bitch”, I simply let them know if their definition of a bitch is an aggressive, assertive woman who won’t let anyone treat her like a doormat, then yeah, I am. But the thing is, I don’t have to redefine myself to suit stereotypes.

As someone also said on the post thread- “And true I usually mean “pussy” as just 2 things – a vagina or a pusillanimous individual – mean, petty and egotistical.”- The possibility that a person who uses the word ‘pussy’ to describe a man or a woman they disagree with is thinking of the latin word  ‘pusillanimous’  or even knows that such a word exist is almost  nil.  When they use the word pussy to describe a woman and when they use it to describe a man, you can add “weak” and/or “vain” to the meanings. The question is, why would we as women agree with anyone that our vagina is “petty” or  “egoistical”? Why would anyone who identifies as a feminist help entrench such sexist language? The only explanation I have for this is that it has become so normalized that we can’t even see it any more. As someone else rightly opined on the post thread:

“you have to know then that language influences thought as well as the other way round. if small children learn pussy to be an insult it has an influence on their view of the world. Sexism is subtle and it proves this through your outrage about this article. You wouldn’t call yourself sexist though you don’t see how sexism has itself already established in the language, you don’t even see it there anymore”

 I believe that we all are still learning and we owe it to ourselves to be better humans. Being conscious of how our words and actions affect others and impact on our society is part of our duty as human beings who want a better world. Every little helps to make the world a better place for all.

  • “It’s dangerous to interpret that everyone who’s saying these proverbs is a sexist or albeist, that’s just not true”

Yes, not everyone who says these words are intentionally sexist or ableist, but the onus falls on us to be better human beings. 481866_543604339002200_820756368_nIgnorance is not an excuse, especially when the issue has been brought to our attention, and we have the means to do our research. I once also carelessly used words  like lame, dumb, mad, psycho, retard and recently ‘religitard’ became the favourite word for believers who make stupid remarks, not because I was being willfully ableist but because I knew no better. But then , it came to my attention, I did my research and realized that it is not about how throwing such words makes me score cheap insulting points, but about how it makes those really affected feel and how my careless actions entrench ableism and support sexist stereotypes. I cannot after knowing this, in all good conscience continue to use these words.

There was a time I would happily scold homophobes, biphobes, transphobes or  religious fanatics who leave stupid comments on my wall to go take their pills or asked if they have just escaped from the psychiatric ward. These might feel like a good retort but now I understand that these kind of statements entrench the stereotypes of mental patients as ignorant, violent, disruptive people not fit for the ‘normal society’.

 Also, this kind of attitude stigmatizes mental health patients. It makes it even more difficult for people with mental health problems to come out and seek help.  The sad case of Clara Chime, the wife of the Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu state comes readily to mind. Even her family preferred to have her locked away in a room by her powerful husband rather than let her seek help and risked being publicly identified as someone with a mental health issue. The family would rather avoid the stigma than help their daughter seek the best professional help possible.

Supporting persons living with disabilities goes beyond demanding rights from government for them, we must also do our 558635_452575621435167_122256581133741_1696293_265476766_npersonal bit to make them feel wholly welcome in the society as human beings with all rights, respect and dignity intact. I was at a workshop specially for LGBTs with disabilities and I must say I learned a lot, and one of the important things I learned is that you must listen to those who are affected and ask them how they prefer to be addressed. Please let us get informed about the different words out there that further disrespect and stigmatise persons with disabilities and let us avoid using these words. This is not to say we will all agree on what words constitute ableism and which do not. For example, i use the word stupid but some are of the opinion that it is ableist. I certainly do not think persons with disabilities are automatically stupid because of their medical condition, therefore I do not consider the word stupid to be ableist. I guess we won’t always agree, but it is good to make an effort to minimise the pains our words or actions might cause others.

  •  “Yemisi, as much as I respect and honor your opinion, but I can’t be in on this one with you.”

Thank you for respecting my opinion. I do hope you will look beyond this being my opinion and take the time to do a little research and reflection of your own. It is not about being on this with me, it is about being a better person than we already are and making people around us feel the best they can and not the worst they can. Thank you.

Below are links to other enlightening posts on Ableism:

Apr 21 2014

Resurrection: The Sunnyside Up!

The scripture says when the last trumpet blows, Jesus would come back and his beloveths would rise up. Eek, I keep seeing images (2)zombies, not funny. This event would officially be the Zombie apocalypse. The dead would resurrect and those that are not dead would float away into heaven, they call it ascending, I call it levitation magic at its best! The scripture also says that the beloveths would no longer be flesh but spirits. One little detail, if they are no longer flesh but spirits, how are they gonna recognize themselves? I imagine that conversation amongst my resurrected Naija brethrens would go thus:

Oh bro, you too make am to heaven?”

Yes o sis, na so I see am o! By fire by thunder, I held tight to angel Michael’s robe and got a free ride to heaven. Naija no dey carry last, no dulling!”

Just saying it surely won’t be fun if the resurrected can’t recognise themselves in the afterlife!

Another thing is, if the beloveth are resurrected or float to heaven as flesh and blood, we need to consider if their body system downloadwould still work as normal. If you have blood flowing through your veins, you might still need to eat in order to nourish the body. However, I am concerned about some other urges apart from food. For example, what about sexual urges? Would the penis still throb at the sight of a beautiful, naked lady or a rubenesque angel? After all, in the early days, some angels were so tempted that they abandoned their heavenly duties to mate with the daughters of Eve, thus paving the way for the birth of giants, or so the myth goes.

I don’t know if there would be clothes in heaven but when Michelangelo first painted angels wearing sandals, it caused a big uproar in the church as many questioned whether or not angels wear shoes. Animals might particularly be interested in the answer to that because some angels might have a preference for crocodile skin shoes!

But coming back to sex in heaven, how many men are actually happy to have a limp, no longer active penis? I think many would 482565_10151239863701261_2120932950_nconsider this to be a fate worse than death. But come to think of it, Deuteronomy 23:1 says “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” Well, it seems there will be sexual action in heaven but if your balls aren’t intact, you ain’t getting resurrected! This is one reason to feel bad for faithfuls who have had their balls removed for medical reasons. It does not matter if they were good Christians who obeyed all the Ten Commandments, they still won’t be resurrected because of their missing ball(s). Not fair!

However, we sinners might just be having sex for eternity in hell. This could make it bearable. What do I mean “could”; of course this would be a winning point! We would scream from orgasmic pain and pleasure for eternity, BDSM at its best!

Now, coming to a very pertinent woman-related concern; would women still menstruate or would monthly circle be a thing of the past? Would sanitary pads makers like Proctor and Gamble set up a special branch in hell or would heaven be their new manufacturing headquarters? Oh, are all those poor trees still gonna be felled down to make tissue papers for menstruating women? Are there even trees in heaven? Won’t this still lead to climate change in heaven or even hell? Now, let’s not be too analytical, we all know God works in mysterious ways, and that settles it!

I for one won’t miss the bloody monthly circle and would happily give Skydaddy a kiss if he gets rid of it. However, if it persists, would resurrected women still need to buy sanitary towels for eternity or will there be a welfare supply of sanitary pads in heaven? Since there is no getting old in heaven, which also means no menopause, I shudder to think of the horror of being stuck with a monthly bleeding vagina for eternity. I am concerned for resurrected women because from all indications in the bible, God isn’t cool about menstruation. In fact, Skydaddy said many times in the bible that menstruating women should not be allowed in his holy house. He also forbids men from interacting with women who are in their menstrual periods.

If resurrected women still menstruate, does this mean that they would be banned from heaven at least 5 days of every month for eternity? Would they be tossed into hell or would there be a special barn in heaven where women would be banished to during their monthly period? At least in hell, there won’t be any discrimination, we would have the best minds including scientists that would provide the latest technology to take care of our needs and make hell super comfortable for its inhabitants. No doubt there will be great inventors who would come up with a pill to take care of the menstruation, super fire extinguishers to control the burning hell and invent super air-conditioning to keep us in perfect temperature.

BTW, what would the resurrected do for entertainment? Many Christian books show the beloveths singing Hallelujah and revelation_worship1Hosanna to the most high in heaven, while floating amongst flowers. Beats watching fox news all day, I suppose. And talking of flowers, since there are flowers in heaven, I supposed there will be bees. Would those bees sting? Would people still feel pain from a bee sting?

I cannot carry a tune even if my life depended on it, but if by some miracle I found myself amongst angels and the resurrected in heaven, would I have my old aluta voice or would I by some miracle have a sonorous, angelic voice?

I guess God might want me to play the flute or harp to massage his ego 24 hours /7 days a week for eternity, but as a black African, can I introduce Skydaddy and his white angels to the joys of the African drums or would they find my African beats too jarring on their angelic nerves? Wait, can I twerk for skydaddy 24/7?  Hmm, not a very enticing prospect, I never liked dictators, bigots or egoists and I am definitely not shaking my booty for one!

This is definitely another reason to make sure I am not amongst the resurrected. I mean, can you imagine what the entertainment would be like in hell?  An eternity of super star line ups from great musicians to great comedians and the eternal pleasure of rubbing minds with great thinkers. What can I say but WOW, sign me on!

Now, let’s talk about food. I love my food and one thing that makes me sad about dying is the thought of never eating chocolates, cake or a plate of pounded yam and goat meat vegetable soup again! I don’t really know if the resurrected would need to eat in heaven, but I do know eternal life would not be worth it if I can no longer experience the pleasure only a bowl of chocolate topped vanilla ice-cream could give. Anyway, if foods are allowed in heaven, will there be Rice, Amala, Akpu, Pounded yam and Equsi soup or will it just be salad and all dem leaves? I foresee conflicts that could lead to protests and riots.

I mean Vegans, Vegetarians and us carnivores might end up fighting! Vegans would shout “No more hurting the animals, this is 418356_210835959013797_100002621825953_353645_1182836252_nparadise for animals too, no more pain for animals” and die-hard meat eaters like me would scream “We want goat meat!” Blame it on papa God and His lousy, not so intelligent design and definitely cruel food chain! The lousy food chain would lead to pain and riots. With the presence of pain, I guess it won’t be paradise anymore, just Planet earth 0.2 with little or no system upgrade. However I am curious to know if the resurrected would still need to count calories. I mean, would it be an eternity of “Eat all you can buffet, no calories gained? Wow, that would be a real paradise, the kind of system upgrade worth dying for!

Also, I think Jesus said something about quenching the thirst of its followers forever, I guess there won’t be a need to drink water. I do wonder why many Christians on my social network are quick to inform me that when I languish in hell begging for a drop of water, they would majestically stare down at me from their heavenly seat and not give me a drop to drink. I get this a lot from self-righteous Christians and I wonder, what would darling Jesus think of such callousness? Not very Christlike now, is it?

But wait a minute; is heaven and hell that close? I mean, many Christians obviously expect to be looking from their heavenly throne at such close proximity at Atheists burning in hell fire and many actually salivate at the thought of watching atheists suffer in this mythical hell. What sort of person takes pleasure in anticipating the pain of another? Hmm, I guess such a person has created God in their own sadistic, malicious and vindictive image and they often picture themselves sitting on his arms, or is it lap? Problem is, these God’s creators are yet to come up with a good product, plus they make lousy salespersons!

BTW, I do think Jesus makes Zombies look sexy, especially hanging on that cross wearing nothing but a loin cloth and thorn crown. And he crowned the performance by breaking down his tomb and made sure to first show himself to women; it really could qualify as porn!

 

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