Homophobic/Biphobic attack claims another life in Nigeria; Councilman on the run for his life

EDITED (16/03/2016)- Latest reports coming in are pointing to the fact that the pictures accompanying this story, which were taken from comments left on the alleged victim’s Facebook wall and news-reports, are not that of the alleged victim. Investigations are ongoing to authenticate the story. 

Trigger warning- Graphic pictures: Blood and violence.  

For some time now, for the sake of my mental health, I have shied away from reporting any news or write about anything from my home country, Nigeria. There is only so much sadness I can handle and that country has left me heartbroken one time too many. However, when I saw this horrible news of tragic homophobia on my timeline, I knew I had to say something about this. If anything could jolt me out of my silence on Nigeria and its nefarious issues, it is certainly another tragic homophobia, biphobia and transphobia case.

From news filtering in, the victim, Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi, was accused of homosexual activities, he was beaten up by youths in the community on 17th February 2016 and later died on 18th February 2016 from the injuries sustained.

This very appalling but important news did not make the rounds until a Facebook user, Ogbeni Ade Omo Ade, (who sounds like he participated in the homophobic/biphobic attack), wrote on the victim’s Facebook wall-

 “End of a gay! This will serve as a lesson to all the people that loves engaging in bisexual, homosexual, lesbianism and gay.

Akinnifesi was a guy that everybody in the community thought was a responsible person not until his secret was revealed when he was caught hands down with honourable Dotun who was a serving supervisory councillor in Ondo west local government in Ondo state he was beating mercilessly by Ondo youths that saw everything bad in a man dating a man he was rushed to the hospital but he later died of internal bleeding due to the mob beating the honourable has commited a lot of atrocities by engaging in bisexual activities he is still on the run although his properties has being destroyed his house and family’s house has being burned down this should serve as a great lesson to all youths!”

ONDO 15ondo 7

This is horrific.

This is appalling.

This is atrocious.

This is inhuman

The celebration of such lynching is nothing short of barbaric.

This horrible man was happy to celebrate the death of an innocent man all because of his alleged sexual orientation. From his post, he would happily participate in the lynching of the other man who is allegedly on the run, even though his home has already been burnt to the ground and his wife and children’s lives already at stake.  Unfortunately, from comments on the victim’s Facebook wall, this reprehensible human being is not alone in his homophobic thirst for innocent blood of sexual minorities.

Mark John‎ wrote:

I saw this on your time line that you are attacked and later died as a result of the injuries sustained in the on 17th January 2016. I don’t know that you are involving in LGBT activities in the community until you were exposed or captured by the youths when you are about to lure a young man into gay practices some where in Ondo. when next you come to this world again you will not practice this unholy things again.

ondo 13

Adewale Victor, wrote:

“Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi When I heard this news of your attacked in Ondo on Facebook I was so disturbed. I said it to myself, that can this be possible that you involved in gay practices? or it was a set up until I investigate the whole story. You disappointed many people including your family and friends. Though I don’t support attack or jungle justice on gay instead they should be handover to the police for proper prosicution in law court of the law. What police should do is to get the run away politician involved arrested so gay will not be spread in the community and it will serve as a lesson to others.”

 

Ondoondo 2

Sunday Oluwayomi wrote-

He deserves to die he is a bad example to our generation

 Sunday Shedraq wrote- 

This morning, as i logged into Facebook…I saw many posts of people raining courses, posting hate speech and others to one Mr Ogbeni Ade Omo Ade who said the homosexual deserves death and posted some pictures of a victim by name @Akinnifest Olumide Olubunmi who was caught in the act and was beaten by angry youths/mob and he died the following morning. Hmmm so sad, so bad, sad news!! If you can’t create, why kill? I SAY NO TO THE BRUTAL MURDER OF THIS YOUNG MAN…..But whoever supports the existence or practices of gay and lesbianism here in Africa is dead to me. This Young Man Is Dead and Gone Forever and someone posted yesterday that we should leave them alone, its their life.. I SAY NO!! HELL TO THE NO!! If you know anyone still in the act, don’t keep quiet, this is Africa. It is morally wrong, Religiously unaccepted and to the laws of nature, IT IS EVIL.. Even the constitution is against it. Why keep quiet if you claim you love him or her and you started ranting when he is caught in the act and murdered cold blood?

To The Diseased, R.I.P, to the “deaf” R.I.P and to the supporters R.I.P cos that is the only debt i owe you. #‎MyStand

ONDO 14 ondo 8ondo 11 ondo 9

This is appalling, disgusting, horrific and totally inhuman, but how many Nigerians would really come out to condemn this atrocity without a BUT? This reminds me of the ALLU 4 Case when Nigerians came out enmasse to condemn the lynching of 4 undergraduate students in Portharcourt who were accused of stealing mobile phones and laptops. I wrote an article then, asking, “Would the percentage of Nigerians condemning Jungle justice decrease if the ALUU 4 victims were gays caught in the act?” 

Many claim they don’t support lynching or jungle justice yet they are always quick to blame the victim.

“Why was he gay?” They ask in self-righteous indignation.

“Didn’t he know being gay is a sin? They judged from their religious hypocritical high horse.

“He should know that men should not be sleeping with men” They conclude from their self-inflicted ignorance.

This is murder. The burning of the house is arson. Concerned Nigerians are already asking Facebook to take down some of the hate speech posted on the Victim’s wall, and I believe that of the repulsive Ogbeni Ade Omo Ade has been removed. This is a commendable step, however, it is not just about asking Facebook to take down the posts, I think the Nigeria government should be called upon to act too.

A murder has been committed. Innocent life brutally taken by a gloating, identifiable mob. A councillor’s home has been burnt down. The council man is on the run for his life because of his alleged bisexuality. His wife and children lives are at risk. What is the government doing about this or is it going to be just business as usual?

This horrific incident allegedly happened in Ondo state, South West , Nigeria. Ondo state is well known for producing many academics and its high regard for education. How on earth did this happen in Ondo state? But then it is Nigeria. Any atrocious thing can and do happen. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is rife in the country. Religion justifies their hypocrisy and hatred for anything concerning same sex love, and they have no regard for the rights and lives of sexual and gender minorities.

In this modern age, how is lynching a person acceptable behaviour? How is burning down a person’s home because he allegedly slept with another consenting albeit same sex adult a thing in this era? How does anyone explain celebrating the murder of a person because of sexual orientation? This has no place in a sane society, but then Nigerians are known to celebrate their special brand of insanity, which basically means celebration of atrocities that any sane and decent human being would frown upon.

We should remember that Nigeria criminalises Same Sex relationship and LGBT rights advocacy. This atrocious law stipulates 14 years’ imprisonment for anyone who engages in same sex relationship and 10 years’ jail term for individuals or organisations who support and advocate for lgbt rights.

After intense lobby by religious groups, notably amongst them, Anglican church and catholic diocese, the Same sex act prohibition bill was unanimously passed by the House of Assembly and the Senate. Despite outcry from the international community and LGBT rights activists both home and in diaspora, the then Nigeria president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the same sex prohibition act into law on January, 2014. This outrageous law was welcomed and celebrated by many Nigerians, including some silly comrades and air-headed human rights activists who obviously think homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender do not deserve basic human rights.

The Nigerian government does not care. Life doesn’t really matter, especially gay, bisexual and trans lives.

Nigerian Gays, Bisexual and Trans Lives matter. Let us rally round to condemn this injustice.

Nigeria lgbt activists both home and abroad should put aside our differences and petty bickering to focus on this momentous task. We need to wholeheartedly do our bit to make Nigerian Gays, Bisexuals and Trans lives matter.

Of course, international solidarity is welcomed. An injury to one is an injury to all. Let us together fight this monster known as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia wherever it rears its ugly head. These murderers should be brought to justice. Make your voice heard. Support LGBT rights. Love shall win.

Related links-

ON NIGERIA’S SAME SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION BILL

Homosexuality and the legalisation of Homophobia in Africa

Nigerian and Ugandan Lawmakers: The Passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bills

Would the percentage of Nigerians condemning Jungle justice decrease if the ALUU 4 victims were gays caught in the act?

The Deafening Silence of Nigerian Left on the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill and Lgbti Rights

Debunking the myths: Is Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transsexualism Un-African or Unnatural?

Just another baby born with a bible: Which came first, the baby or the bible?

bible baby

A woman has allegedly given birth to a bible and a baby girl in Osun state, Nigeria. Just another baby born holding a holy book. Last time, it was a baby allegedly born holding a Quran. There was also that case of a baby born holding prayer imagebeads, this time it is a baby born with a bible, all in Nigeria.

I wonder why they are never born with a cure for cancer, a recipe for the best Jollof Rice or at least a lottery ticket that would change the lives of their prayerful parents! Such bullshit stopped being news to me a long time ago, and this malady wouldn’t have caught my attention if not for the sad fact that it was given national coverage on NTA as prime time news! Yes, it made national news coverage on paper and TV, not as satire or a joke but as real news! 

According to NTA, Adijatu Babalola, a mother of three, gave birth to a baby girl after she had delivered a bible in a mysterious way. [Read more…]

8 Reasons “I’d Rather Be a Rebel than a Slave” on t-shirts for “Suffragette” is Wrong

When Time Out London invited the leading actresses of the new film, “Suffragette”, to be photographed for its October 2015 issue, they did not envisage the heated debate that ensued. The photoshoot featured the stars of the movie, Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan, Romola Garai, and Anne-Marie Duff posing in t-shirts bearing Emmeline Pankhurst’s quote, “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” The appropriateness of the t-shirts message was called into question. Reactions to this debate have been very enlightening as well as disturbing. The photoshoot provided another opportunity to see white feminism in action and the reaction shows how difficult it is for feminists of colour to be heard in a visibly white world.

Mary Rozzi

Mary Rozzi

Below are 8 reasons why the quote on the t-shirts is inappropriate, insensitive and offensive as a promotional material for a 21st century film that seeks to promote equality.

1- Not everyone has the luxury of choosing between being a slave or a rebel

My ancestors were humans who were carted off from Africa and made slaves in foreign lands. They did not have12108275_10153653732906873_381376419150408220_n the luxury of choosing between being a rebel or being a slave. No one would “rather be a slave”. Many of them were rebels but this did not save them from being slaves. They did not just hand themselves over to their captors. They did not just roll over and decided to live the slave life. They did not choose to be separated from their families and land of births.

Captivity was forced on them. Slavery was forced on them. Many were born into slavery. Being a rebel in the sense of organising protests and speeches under police protection and throwing animal blood at their fancily dressed “Masters” were not options available to them.

However, the fact that millions of my ancestors died as slaves in foreign lands did not mean that many of them were not rebels. There were rebellions on the slave ships. Many died with their rebellion stories that will never be told. [Read more…]

BeingFemaleInNigeria: The viral hashtag, the tweets and my take on it

#BeingFemaleInNigeria is a hashtag that went viral in Nigeria just barely hours after it was first tweeted by members of a small book club. The hashtag started trending in many countries including UK. I would have loved for the hashtag to read ‘BeingaWomanInNigeria’ because the word ‘Female’ has its own social construct problem. However, i am over the moon that this very important conversation, which got the whole nation talking, was started by a very small book club.

The book club members had gathered to read their book of the month, an essay titled ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Nigerian award winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. According to a member of the book club, Florence Warmate, the discussion got very interesting and members started sharing their personal experiences of sexism in Nigeria. They decided not to leave it there but start a conversation on social media about what it is like being a woman in Nigeria.

Florence Warmate posted her first tweet on the subject using the agreed hashtag #BeingFemaleInNigeria. Hours later, it was trending on twitter. It was interesting that a small group of women could ignite a national discussion via social media in a matter of hours. Clearly, it was a discussion Nigerian women (and some men too), were dying to have. [Read more…]

The curious case of Rachel Dolezal

When Rachel Dolezal was outed as a Caucasian woman in blackface, the story almost broke the internet. Several daystumblr_inline_npu43mC6mM1qfb043_500 later, we are still trying to put the pieces together. So far, the story has served as a platform to discuss racism and cultural appropriation. However, it has also served as a platform for transphobes to pontificate on gender and redefine transracial.

Rachel Dolezal, 37 year old part-time professor in the Africana studies program at Eastern Washington University, was outed by her Caucasian parents, Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal, as a white woman pretending to be black. Following the social media attention, Rachel Dolezal handed in her resignation as president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). She tendered her resignation without any sign of remorse, later followed by an exclusive live interview with NBC News where she insisted-

I definitely am not white, I’m more black than I am white. That’s the accurate answer from my truth.

Rachel seems to think her chosen truth trumps facts. You can choose your truth but you can’t choose your facts. She seems to have a history of choosing her truths with total disregard for facts.

On several occasions, Rachel Dolezal has claimed to be the victim of hate crimes. However, Investigators have not been able to find evidence to substantiate her claims. In fact, it was an effort to connect the dots in her latest hate [Read more…]

South Africa and Xenophobic Attacks: Simply No Justification

On March 20, 2015, xenophobic attacks broke out in Durban, South Africa, some disgruntled South Africans turned on their neighbours, viciously attacking foreigners, mostly immigrant black Africans. This set in motion a wave of anti-immigrants attacks. The locals accused migrants of taking local jobs. They wanted the foreigners out of their country. Since the attacks, many deaths have been recorded and thousands of foreigners have fled for their lives, with many rendered homeless and in hiding.

A Mozambican man, Emmanuel Sithole was stalked, stabbed and murdered on the streets by vicious South Africans, According to reports, many including policemen watched while he pleaded for his life.

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The Nigerian consul-general in South Africa, Uche Ajulu-Okeke said  – [Read more…]

Free and Equal Naija campaign should be without a BUT.

To mark this year’s international human rights day,  a group of Nigerian individuals and organisations came together to adopt the Free and Equal Naija campaign todownload promote inclusiveness of LGBT rights as human rights.

I am a firm believer in equal rights; therefore, the Free and equal Naija hashtag appealed to the human rights activist in me. However, when I got the memo and guideline that came with the concept note, I was once again, disappointed. The memo came with the guideline-

Important Notice:

The #FreeAndEqualNaija Campaign is not a marriage equality campaign. All advocacy outputs should be directed toward inclusiveness and accountability in the promotion and protection of human rights of all Nigerian citizens.

Once again, marriage equality is being treated as the taboo words that must not be uttered if we are to win the support of Nigerian human rights activists and organisations.

There is this growing stigma attached to marriage equality campaign especially amongst African LGBT activists. Although i appreciate the effort to speak up for LGBT rights in a country where it is a crime to do so, but as a staunch supporter of Marriage Equality, I could not fully get behind the Free and Equal Naija campaign because i did not wish to be part of anything that stigmatises marriage equality campaign. [Read more…]

#Ferguson: Mike brown and the “It is not a race thing” Apologists.

I have been unable to bring myself to write a blogpost on ‪#‎Ferguson for weeks now. Reading the updates is overwhelmingly heart wrenching. However, my sadness and pain won’t shield me from the myriad of stupid, wilfully ignorant and racist comments and memes that pops up on my newsfeed. If anything, those comments, status updates and memes contribute to my pain and anger. Michael Brown, 19, was unarmed when he was shot eight times in the middle of a street in Ferguson. And now, there is the case of Eric Garner, an African American choked to death by a white police officer.

It is disheartening when in an attempt to deny the racial aspect involved in Mike Brown’s murder, people who should know better post things like:

“This is not a race thing”

“I married a white person, my in-laws are white and they are not racists “

“All black people are not criminals; All white people are not racists”

“What if Mike brown was white?”

“Can’t we just move on?”

“But all lives matter!”

Those comments expose the comfortable ignorance people maintain on race related issues. Many white people are quick to deny white privilege. Some black people are quick to exclaim in unison with their white in-laws, “Not all white people are racists, can’t we just move on?”

An atheist black friend who should know better posted a video purportedly showing Mike Brown shoplifting, without any clarification and the first commenter, another black person, immediately wrote, “He shoplifted, he should be shot.” [Read more…]

Jamie Olivier; Hands Off My Continent’s Jollof Rice! #Jollofgate

 

Like many West Africans, I was aghast when I saw the picture of what Jamie Olivier tried to pass off as Jollof rice. Twitter was set ablaze by the B1aijQDCEAApYGlrighteous fury of West Africans, protesting the audacity of an international white celebrity chef, who dared to plagiarised (and badly so too), West Africa’s much beloved dish, Jollof Rice. To an outsider, this might seem like much ado about nothing, but hey jollof rice is not just any rice, it is a national treasure, a national signature, and as #Jollofgate fury has proved, it is an African pride. Touch our Jollof rice; we will come at you with united fury! [Read more…]

Culture is not an excuse to perpetrate injustice; LGBT Rights are about Human Rights not Culture.

As part of the celebration marking Black History/LGBT Month, I was interviewed by  Tundun Adeyemo, presenter of the program ‘Outspoken’ BookCoverImage new vistaon www.africaukradio.com. Below is a text of the interview, also available on her blog.

October is Black History/Lesbian Gays Bisexual Transsexual Month. In parts of London, people have been marking this in various ways. To help us give that some perspective is author Yemisi Ilesanmi who joins us from London to talk about her book and why homosexuality is not just an European concept.

Hello Yemisi, Many thanks for joining us.

 1- You have written this book ‘Homosexuality is not unAfrican.’ Why did you write this book?

Thanks. I wrote this book to counter the erroneous impression that homosexuality is Un-African. This is a rhetoric that many African politicians keep sprouting in their bid to defend the discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and Transsexuals. With the upsurge of anti-gay bills springing up in many African countries, it became imperative to provide necessary information and create awareness on the issues of sexual orientation especially homosexuality and bisexuality. Information is power and education is key to human development.

In this digital age, where information is easily accessible, it is sad to know that many people especially Africans still fall for the homophobic, biphobic and transphobiic rhetoric that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. In the book Freedom to Love For All; Homosexuality is not Un-African, I put together a collection of my essays debunking the myths that Homosexuality is Un-African.

First, I started by clarifying the meaning of sexual orientation and providing accepted definition of the different kinds of sexual orientation and gender identity that we [Read more…]

London Black Atheists Celebrates 2nd Anniversary In Style!

London Black Atheists (LBA) celebrated its 2nd anniversary on Saturday, 25 October 2014 at Conway Hall, London.  It was also an opportunity to mark Black History Month. It was a fabulous evening with fantastic people, amazing talents and delicious food and drinks.

Clive Aruede and a few other atheists with the aim of bringing together black atheists in London founded London Black Atheists two years ago. LBA provides a nurturing atmosphere for black atheists to come out of the closet and interact in a safe environment.

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London Black Atheists organises meetups including talks and social outings. It announces scheduled meetups on its Meetup page. Its ‘About info’ states: [Read more…]

Sensationalising the Plight of African LGBTs

I am often approached at LGBT events especially at protests rallies by filmmakers and journalists who want to write a piece or make a 04338_yemisi_ilesanmidocumentary on the ‘horrible’ situation of African Lesbians and gays (they hardly take cognizance of bisexuals and Trans).

There is no doubt that African LGBTs who reside in countries where their sexual orientation is criminalised face a daunting task. Living a closeted life or choosing to face the consequences of being out and proud in a society where one’s sexual orientation is criminalised is frightening and dehumanising. I have been there, I am still there, and I know how horrible the threats can be. So yes, I understand why the filmmakers and writers are fascinated with telling this horror story.

However, a recurring theme makes me cringe every time I am approached by filmmakers or journalists demanding that I tell the horror stories or at least provide them some graphic pictures of violence suffered by African LGBTs. There is this fascination with the horror stories and abused bodies of African LGBTs that I am beginning to wonder if it is a voyage into morbid porn and/or just another way to portray Africans as victims.

When I inform these filmmakers and journalists that I do not have pictures of abused African LGBTS to share with them, they are immediately crestfallen. It is my opinion that most of them haunt African LGBT activists protest grounds not because they are interested in the fight for African LGBT Rights but because they see the plight of African LGBTs as a way of furthering their career in Journalism or film industry.

A heart-wrenching, graphic documentary on the abuses suffers by African LGBTs and why African LGBTS need white saviours could turn a [Read more…]

“We do not learn about our history by sitting in cages or sitting in slave ships and re-enacting how many lashes we had and seeing our skins with all those abrasions.” On Exhibit B-The human zoo. A great talk by Esther Stanford-Xosei.

The Barbican center is yet to cancel the awfully racist, dehumanising and traumatising exhibition titled ‘Exhibit B’ by white South African, Brett Bailey. Exhibit B- the human zoo, is a dehumanising, racist voyeurism in the name of art.

Below is a video of a great talk by “Reparationist, Jurisconsult, dynamic community advocate and radio Broadcaster Esther Stanford-Xosei” courtesy of London Live 360 TV  It is a must watch interview!

  [Read more…]

LGBT Rights in Africa: Why we need international solidarity- Interview on SkyNews

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals from countries where their sexual orientation and/or gender identity is criminalised need international solidarity. What we do not need is seeing international leaders who claim to support our fight for LGBT rights wine and dine our oppressors.

When we watch international leaders who are supposedly LGBT allies frolicking with our oppressors, the message we get is that we do not matter. In the long run, it is all about their politics, not their words. International leaders should please WALK THEIR TALK.

Below is a video of my interview on SkyNews on the topic LGBT Rights in Africa and why we need international solidarity. [Read more…]