LGBT Rights activists demonstrates at Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK

LGBT Rights activists demonstrates at Nigerian Centenary Awards, UK


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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  1. Meggamat says

    Things like the Nigerian Centenary Awards UK are proof that the human desire for exploration and ambition for expansion are ultimately a source of enrichment for the whole world.

  2. Yemisi Ilesanmi says


    Things like the Nigerian Centenary Awards UK are proof that the human desire for exploration and ambition for expansion are ultimately a source of enrichment for the whole world.

    Your comment has a few different meanings. After careful reading, I assume you are saying the ambition of the award recipients led them to explore a foreign land and that this has been of benefit to the whole world.
    Quite right, although not a benefit to the whole world, brain drain does not benefit the country losing its best brains to other nations.

    Also, let’s not forget that many are forced to leave their homeland for greener pastures, not because they feel like exploring but because their homeland just can’t or as in most cases won’t provide basic amenities needed for economy, political and social growth. Migration is not always willful, but sometimes a mere case of survival.

    However the first interpretation I got of your comment was that amalgamation of Nigeria by the colonialists was a good thing that came out of human ambition, exploration and desire to expand which has now enrich the whole world. This would be very wrong. I and in fact many Nigerians were wondering why on earth Nigeria was celebrating a 100 years of forceful coexistence.

    Communities were invaded by colonialists and forcefully amalgamated for the economic and political benefits of the colonialists without any consultation with the people. Nigeria has gone through a civil war where millions were intentionally starved and killed just to maintain a united country. There is a national conference going on now, the government refused to make it a Sovereign National conference because of the fear that the conference would vote for secession.

    Many Nigerians are actually tired of this forced unity. I get added to groups calling for Oduduwa People’s Republic quite often. There is a renewed call for Biafra Republic. I read newsfeed from my otherwise rational FB friends calling their Igbo men ‘pussies’ for not taking up arms and murdering all the Hausas in Igboland as a repercussion for the killings of Igbos in the North by Boko Haram. Delta and Ijaws were the kingpin of kidnappings although they were focused on kidnapping foreign expatriates especially Shell oil workers.

    They also called for the secession of delta areas where the bulk of Nigeria oil wealth comes from but they were brought under control with a negotiated Amnesty grant that means the members of cannot be tried of their crimes and now their leader enjoy a lifetime of luxury lifestyle in exchange for their guns. And of course, Northern elites are already asking for such deals for Boko Haram members.

    As a socialist, I understand that when we work as a collective, we have a better chance of achieving political, social and political equality. Breaking up into fragments is hardly ever the solution to oppression, however I am for self-determination. No one or nation should be forced to stay together when the marriage or forced marriage as in the case of Nigeria is no longer working, people should be allowed to go their different ways without threats of bloodshed.

  3. Meggamat says

    @Yemisi Ilesanmi- I apologise for the ambiguity of my statement. I am not an advocate of bloodshed, or the suppression of political speech as has been happening to the secessionists in Nigeria, I meant only to say that the capacity of people to travel across the world and advance themselves was a good thing.


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