Prominent Nigerian official Babatunde Fashola claimed ignorance last month as a tactic for avoiding uncomfortable questions about Nigeria’s persecution of LGBT people.
Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos State, currently runs the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. But he said he doesn’t know that gay people are persecuted in Lagos State.
The minister made the comments last week at the Commonwealth Peoples Forum at the Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting (CHOGM 2018) in London.
Responding to a question about his stand on homosexuality and the condition of LGBT persons in Lagos State, as well as the recent arrest of about 40 men who were accused of homosexuality and paraded before the media last July, he said: “the 40 incidents that you mentioned, I am not aware of it. As you might know, I am no longer governor of Lagos State; I ceased to be governor in 2015.”
The arrests were widely reported in Nigeria and internationally. For example:
Mass arrest of 40 gay men in Nigeria may harm HIV fight: activist
(July 31, 2017, Reuters) The mass arrest of more than 40 Nigerian men suspected by police of performing homosexual acts at a party in Lagos could hinder efforts to stem the spread of HIV in the country, a leading gay rights activist said on Monday. …
Fear-mongering inflicts new abuses on 40 Nigerians
(Aug. 25, 2017, 76crimes.com) Human rights activists in Nigeria have blasted a fear-mongering article titled “HIV epidemic looms,” which appeared in [Nigeria’s] Sun News in connection with the July 29 arrest of 40 people in the Lagos area on homosexuality charges. …
Fashola also denied that he has ever been homophobic. He said: “I have never made a statement against the LGBT community; I don’t recall ever making such a statement. So wherever your source came from, that is grossly inadequate.”
According to many reports, surveys and polls, Nigeria tops the list of homophobic countries in the world. Even though being gay is not explicitly criminalized in Nigeria, the anti-same-sex marriage law and the penal codes criminalize certain sex acts even amongst consenting adults. As a result, gay Nigerians suffer persecution almost on a daily basis.
The persecution of LGBT people in Nigeria is on the rise, with the humiliations often occurring in public, with innocent victims paraded before the media.
Mike Daemon comments:
It is inexcusable and outright hypocritical for Fashola to deny knowledge of such happenings in his own country and especially in his own state.
- Nigeria: 2 men stripped, paraded for alleged sex (
- Gay pastor in Nigeria stripped naked by homophobes (
- Activist: Stop abusive anti-LGBTQ videos in Nigeria (
- Fear-mongering inflicts new abuses on 40 Nigerians (
- Mass arrest of 40 gay men in Nigeria may harm HIV fight: activist (July 2017, Reuters)
- Nigerian man beaten after he arrives wearing female clothes (July 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Nigerian’s Bible research leads to anti-gay death threat (July 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Petition: Stop Nigerian comedian from promoting hate crimes against gays (January 2017, 76crimes.com)
- 152 violations of LGBTQI Nigerians’ human rights in 2016 (January 2017, 76crimes.com)
- 3 of every 4 LGBT Nigerians have been abused, survey says (January 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Nigerian man stripped naked and arrested for cross dressing (September 2016, NoStringsNG)