Christian Association of Nigeria’s President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the $9.3m, Arms and Ammunition scandal

When President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, was presented with a private jet for his birthday on the Oritsejafor-360x27040th anniversary of his ministry, he probably did not envision it was going to be his waterloo.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet was seized in South Africa on the allegation that it was used to convey $9.3 million cash allegedly meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition. South African immigration officials discovered the undeclared money. Two yet to be identified Nigerians and an Israeli were said to be aboard the jet. According to latest reports, the private jet has been released after Nigerian officials entered into diplomatic dialogue with the South African Officials, but the $9.3m is still confiscated by South African government.

Funny enough, Nigeria’s government has moved in to defend the embattled Pastor. Government spokespersons have claimed that the money [Read more...]

Religion, LGBT rights and military regimes: Interview in Solidarity Newspaper

Kate Harris interviews Yemisi Ilesanmi

Published in Workers Liberty’s Solidarity Newspaper

How did you get to where you are today as an LGBT activist and out bisexual woman?

It has been an interesting, tasking, journey towards self-awareness. It is also a journey that has involved studying society and finding my place in it. It is a continuous journey and one where I have to constantly remind myself that I have a right to be who I am in a world that is desperate to make me into what they would rather I be.

I started being politically and socially aware of my human rights at an early age. I was born in Nigeria in the mid-70s and grew up in a society that was marred with constant military coup d’états. There was no stable democracy. It was confusing because people took to the streets to celebrate successful coup d’états. I wondered why it was a good thing for the military to forcefully overthrow elected officials. But the people’s response was that the elected officials were corrupt. However, after having a taste of what military dictatorship means, people stopped celebrating coups. This started the difficult journey towards demanding and organising for a civilian regime where they would have a say in electing their own political leaders.  [Read more...]

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. [Read more...]

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? [Read more...]

Yours truly is the newest patron of The Pink Triangle Trust

I am honoured to be appointed the newest patron of the Pink Triangle Trust. The Pink Triangle Trust has been promoting ptt-logo10Humanism and LGBT Rights for over 22 years.

 As stated on its website, The Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) is a charitable trust (Registered Charity No. 1015629) set up in 1992 to advance the education of the public and particularly of lesbians and gay men, in the principles and practice of humanism  and to advance the education of the public and particularly of humanists, about all aspects of homosexuality.  It may also assist individuals to obtain remedies under the law where they have suffered unlawful discrimination on account of their homosexuality or their Humanism.

The Pink Triangle Trust has a number of prominent international patrons including fellow Freethought blogger and prominent Human Rights activist, Maryam Namazie. Also on its list of patrons are leading British gay rights advocate, Michael Cashman MEP and fellow Nigerian human rights activist and humanist, Leo Igwe.

The Pink Triangle Trust publishes a quarterly online magazine, The Pink Humanist, on its lively blog. The WEB.300.516-page publication contains well-researched news and features covering various aspects of  LGBT life across the globe. I am glad to grace the cover of the March edition –  http://issuu.com/infidel69/docs/pink_humanist_march_14_latest 

You will find my winning cover girl smile on the cover of the latest edition of Pink Humanist  the online magazine for LGBT Atheists, freethinkers and Skeptics with the succinct message ‘LOVE KNOWS NO GENDER’ and some wonderful quotes from my book Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is Not Un-African.

 Please visit the Trust’s website and kindly consider making a donation to the Pink Triangle Trust. Your donation will go a long way in helping the Trust keep its wonderful work alive.  Kindly click the donate button on its website. Thanks.

Dear friend, I’m going to prison. Protest rally against Nigeria’s Anti-LGBT Law.

Nigeria demo 1 - 14 Nov 11Dear friend,

I’m just writing to say goodbye.

I’m going to prison,

for 14 years,

for being gay

and Nigerian.

And if you associate with me, or don’t report me, whether you are straight, gay or bisexual, you face 10 years too… [Read more...]

Open Letter To Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

27 January, 2014

Dear Dr. Chidi Odinkalu,

It is with deep concern that I write this open letter to you to register my dismay at the continued silence of your offSDC15091ice on the recently signed Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. It is surprising that as Chairperson of the Governing body of National Human Rights Commission, a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you have not deemed it fit to issue a public statement weeks after a section of Nigerian populace was criminalized and stripped of their fundamental human rights via a stroke of President Goodluck Jonathan‘s pen. The most you have said in your official capacity, albeit in private, is that you are still studying the new law.

Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, how long would it take your office to study this legislation? The content of the law has been known to you and most Nigerians since 2011 when the bill was first approved by the Senate. The harmonized version of the bill that was signed did not change much. In your official capacity, you must have received a copy of the Act as it is part of your official duty to advise the President on the human rights implication of bills tabled before him.

As a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you cannot claim to be unaware of the human rights violations inherent in this new legislation. Therefore, I wonder how you could turn a blind eye to such blatant violation of fundamental human rights. Is this about protecting [Read more...]

Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora condemns signing of the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill.

PRESS STATEMENT – Nigeria’s ‘Jail the Gays’ legislation is a blatant violation of fundamental human rights of Sexual minorities and every Nigerian.

http://wp.me/p1YdPM-b7

1185423_697419426957087_459234855_n NEWJanuary 15, 2014-  Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same-Sex Laws unequivocally condemns the signing into law of the draconian Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition bill by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigerian Lawmaker unanimously passed the ill-thought out draconian bill earlier in 2013 and sent the harmonized version of the bill to the president for assent on 30 Dec, 2013. The bill was reportedly signed by the president on 7 January 2014. [Read more...]

Cameroon Gay Rights Activist Murdered: Enough of this hate crime, join the protest!

Eric_Lembembe_Cameroon_Gay_Activist_MurderedI wish I have good news to share from Africa, but it all seems so gloomy!

 Heartbreaking news comes in from Cameroon. Another gay rights activist brutally murdered.

 Prominent Cameroonian gay rights activist and journalist Eric Lembembe has been killed in the capital, Yaounde, a rights group says. Mr Lembembe’s neck and feet appeared to have been broken and his face, hands, and feet burned with an iron, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23331832 [Read more...]

‘Our Senators are Hypocrites’

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ORIGINAL INTERVIEW LINK- http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/our-senators-are-hypocrites/104344/

(BTW, you totally should read the wacky comments on the original interview link)
Yemisi Ilesanmi describes herself as ‘proudly bisexual’. After gaining her LL.B from the Obafemi Awolowo University in 2004 (four years after she should have qualified and 10 years after she was initially admitted as a student), she was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 2005. Asked about the time gap, she chuckles in recollection, ‘Well I had some issues with the university authorities’. Pressed further she says, ‘Weeell, we ‘kidnapped the then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Omole! We had only dirty, brown water coming out of our taps in the halls of residence and we were expected to drink that?!’ her voice rising an octave. ‘Well, we thought we should just give him a dose of his own medicine so we “took” him to spend quality time with us!’

If by now it has not been clear that the interviewer is speaking with a non-conformist, it is now.

Ilesanmi worked with the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja from 2002 until recently. Aged 36, she holds a Masters of Law Degree from the University of Keele, UK in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. Now resident in the United Kingdom, this trade unionist, human rights activist and poet sent in a position paper to the Senate hearing last October on the anti-same sex marriage bill. She was however unable to come down to Nigeria to make her presentation personally but says she now plans to do so for the House of Representatives public hearing.

The coordinator of the campaign group Nigerian LGBTI in Diaspora Against Anti-Same Sex Laws, she has travelled extensively as guest speaker to promote gender and youth issues, labour rights, sexuality rights and international human rights. [Read more...]

KINDLY SIGN THIS PETITION: SAY NO TO NIGERIA’S JAIL THE GAYS BILL.

RESIZEDKindly sign Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws’ petition to urge President Goodluck Jonathan not to sign the Jail the Gays bill into law.

Petition- https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/president-goodluck-jonathan-don-t-sign-the-jail-the-gays-bill-into-law

To:
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN, President Federal Republic of Nigeria
NIGERIAN LAWMAKERS, Legislators
SEN. DAHIRU UMARU- HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE, CHAIRPERSON- HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NIGERIA, DIRECTOR
REUBEN ABATI, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan.
It is with deep concern that I sign this petition to register my dismay at the proposed Bill titled “An Act to Prohibit Marriage Between Persons of Same Gender, Solemnization of Same and for Other Matters Related Therewith” which has now been passed by the Nigerian House of Representatives and Senate. This bill contradicts fundamental human rights under Nigeria constitution, international and regional human rights law and standards e.g.
  •   Nigeria Constitution- Section 42 prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of sex or membership of a group. Also, Section 34 guarantees the right to the dignity of the human person; it states “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment” [Read more...]

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF NIGERIA’S ‘JAIL THE GAYS’ BILL.

Nigerian LGBTI In Diaspora Against Anti-Same Laws. Protest Londo 006 - Copy

PRESS STATEMENT- http://wp.me/p1YdPM-9f

Nigeria LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same-Sex Laws unequivocally condemns the passing of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill by the Nigerian House of Representatives.

The draconian bill was passed in a voice vote on Thursday 30 May, 2013 by members of the House of Representatives. The bill stipulates a 14 years jail term for same-sex marriage and 10 years imprisonment for public show of same-sex affection. The approved bill also stipulates a 10 year imprisonment for anyone who abets a gay person, witnesses a same sex marriage or advocates for LGBT rights.

Nigerian LGBTIs in diaspora against anti same sex laws believes that the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill is a blatant violation of human rights of Nigerian gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. It is a shame that such draconian bill was passed unanimously in both Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives. [Read more...]