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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Yemsii Ilesanmi –