Gay in Nigeria: The Stark Reality For LGBT People In The West Africa Country

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04/29/2020

Michael Ighodaro was attacked by homophobes in his home city of Abuja when he was waiting for a taxi outside his friend’s home. His attackers stormed up behind the LGBT activist, hurled abuse at him, and broke his hands and ribs. His taxi driver discovered his battered body outside the housing complex. “I couldn’t go to the hospital to get treatment or to the police to report what had happened because I didn’t feel comfortable telling them I was beaten because I’m gay. So I had to visit the nurse in my office,” Ighodaro, who worked for an HIV/AIDs advocacy group in the Nigerian city, tells The Independent. Ighodaro was forced to flee Nigera, and seek asylum in the US. A hangover from colonial rule, anti-gay laws in Nigeria can lead to punishments including 14 years in prison to death by stoning. Gay people are also banned from holding meetings or forming clubs. Ighodaro, who is an Assisant Professor in Global LGBTI Studies at The new School University in New York, is among activists fighting for laws and attitudes affected LGBT people in countries across the world to be changed.

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