Exiled Nigerian lecturer appeals for gay talks

2015-10-23 21:01


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lagos - Bisi Alimi has been assaulted and persecuted and fled into exile, all because he is gay. Now, he's speaking out about his travails to persuade British legislators to engage Nigerian policy makers about a law that makes even befriending a homosexual a crime punishable by 10 years in jail.

Just discussing Nigeria's Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, passed in January 2014, could potentially land you in jail if it's seen as promoting homosexuality.

"There is no law in the modern world like this law, not even in the Arab world," said the 40-year-old actor and university lecturer.

He pointed to a clause in the Act making it a crime not to report a "perceived" homosexual.

"How do we find out whether this perceived homosexual is indeed homosexual or just a victim of hatred?" he asked.

The good news, he said, is that a growing minority of young Nigerians, 23%, are willing to accept homosexuality in a family member, according to a survey commissioned by his new Bisi Alimi Foundation. It also shows declining support for the law, from 96% in 2010 to 87% nowadays. The telephone survey of 1 000 adults in all parts of the country carried out in April and May has a 3% margin of error.

That still leaves a vast and hostile majority among Nigeria's 170 million deeply religious people.

Alimi's foundation aims to stir up debate about the law's impact - on neighbourliness, the economy and a brain drain that has scores of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Nigerians following his footsteps into exile.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.