5 October 2015
Over in the Uk, protestors rallied outside the Nigerian High Commission in London last week to call for a repeal of Nigeria’s anti LGBTI laws.
The rally was organised by Nigerian lesbian activist Aderonke Apata, with the support of the African LGBTI organisation, Out and Proud Diamond Group, and the Peter Tatchell Foundation
Organisers handed in a petition with over 65,000 signatures, urging Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to repeal of all Nigeria’s anti-LGBTI laws. But rather than accept the petition, the embassy refused to take the petition, and barred protestors access – locking the doors.
At the demonstration Aderonke Apata spoke of the widespread persecution of LGBTI people in Nigeria.
“Since the insidious 2014 anti-LGBTI law was passed in Nigeria, there have been waves of police arrests and torture, anti-LGBTI mob attacks, public whippings, evictions from homes, harassment and discrimination against 'suspected' LGBTIs. Equality advocacy organisations and activists in Nigeria are not spared mistreatment,” said Apata.
"Growing up in Nigeria, I was unable to disclose my sexuality, yet unable to hide it. The culture in Nigeria makes it clear that being gay or transgender is a sin, a sentiment that is fuelled by homophobic messages from faith communities, political leaders, families, and schools. I took these messages in, identified with them, and carried the shame of being a lesbian woman in Nigeria. I was arrested, tortured and extorted by the Nigerian Police. I demand a repeal of this toxic law," she said.