(Podcast) How I Almost Got Killed For Being Gay in Abuja, Nigeria!

how i almost got killed in abuja

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Nigeria is one of the 38 African countries that have criminalized homosexuality. In January 2014, it enacted a law  misleadingly titled the “Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act.”

The law prescribes a 10-year jail term for public displays of love between people of the same sex and for anyone belonging to an LGBTIQ organization.  Clearly the law is not really about marriage, but about criminalizing human rights and silencing any organizations working to help sexual minorities in the country.

In such country, with no regard for human rights, even the police who are supposed to protect lives and property have taken advantage of the situation to torment and extort money from LGBTIQ community members.

Attacks, brutality, torture, blackmail and even deaths have been reported. Criminals who otherwise seem to be ordinary members of Nigerian society trick members of the community into coming to certain secret venues and then use the opportunity to cause harm.

In this episode, we talked with Eric, a Nigerian gay man who opened up about a homophobic experience he had in Nigeria. He told NoStrings in an interview about how he connected with someone online via  Manjam.com, a social media platform that connects gay men to each other, and that was how the trouble began for him.

He said:

“I was in Nigeria, studying for my master’s, and at some point, I got really bored and decided to chat up on the Internet via manjam.com, and there I met a young man. After several conversations online, we exchanged phone numbers and pictures, and soon we were talking on phone. He would call me up all the time to know what I was doing, and where I was. He sounded and seemed like a really nice guy. So at some point, he invited me over to come see him, which I agreed to.

“But when I met him, I noticed that he was not using his real pictures; he looked different in person as against the pictures he had sent to me. I became a little bit worried, and inquired from him to know why he had sent me fake pictures of him, and then he explained to me, that it was not safe to use one’s real pictures on the internet, especially on a platform like manjam. His excuse sounded quite reasonable so I didn’t bother him anymore about it.”

They moved to a bar where they had a brief discussion and a couple of drinks and then finally both decided that they would go to a hotel, which turned out to be a trap:

“Some guys hurriedly rushed out from the toilet and asked me what I was doing, and why I came. …  They started hitting me with the sticks that they had brought, and asked me to take off my clothes, and they started taking pictures and making videos with their camera. The guy who invited me, was just standing there. He did nothing really; he was only telling them to take things easy with me, as they were hitting, slapping and beating me.

As they were taking pictures, and making videos, they asked that I say a couple of things looking directly into the camera, which I did obviously, as I did not want my face destroyed, and possibly get killed.

“Eventually, they took my phone and my two bank cards, got the ATM pin numbers from me, and one of them went to the bank and cashed out all the money I had, which amounted to about 30,000.00 naira [about US$150]. But it was not enough for them, as they said that they needed 200,000 naira, so I told them that if went home, or if they’ll go home with me, that I will be able to get it from my mother for them. Even though I knew my mother did not have that kind of money.

“They asked that I reveal to them about the people I know that are gay, as they went through my phone, I told them that I wasn’t friends with gay people in Nigeria.”

At Eric’s home, the extortionists were foiled:

“My mother was extremely disappointed in me. She is an elderly woman. She didn’t speak much; she only told the guy who arranged the setup to do whatever he wanted with me, that she did not have any money to give him.

“My sister did not believe the whole thing. She thought that it was all an arrangement, that I was doing everything just to collect money from my mother. After much arguments, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to get any more money. He left me with a threat that he had my phone numbers and my phone, and that he would find me eventually if I failed to come and balance him up with more money”.

Eric is no longer in Nigeria; he just couldn’t stay given the homophobic condition of the country. He hopes he will be able to return if things get better in the future.

To listen to the discussion with Eric, please click HERE or the download option under the episode poster above.

Have you been harassed, assaulted, or abused as a result of your sexual orientation? Please, do not further increase the burden that you experience by suffering in silence, share your story and experience. Doing this will further expose the horror and agony experienced by LGBTIQ persons in the country, (Nigeria) to do this, send an email to info@nostringspodcast.com

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Wordpress (3)
  • comment-avatar

    I have been raising the alarm, sounding warning to all my friends. Most especially those who are of the same sexuality with me, But nobody won’t listen to me. Vecause when it happens to one and it has not happened to another, people seems not to believe your stories. As a result, they don’t feel like helping nor take action either. Lo! the ordeal experienced by this young man has happened to me and it is exactly the same story. I experienced mine at Ibusa, close to Asaba, Delta State, in a white house that is highly fenced. I was brutally bitten almost to the point of death, all my money was collected from the bank through the ATM card they collected from me, they asked my people to send them #100,000 Naira Nigeria currency, they collected my two phones with the sims, and sent my people message that I am gay. I was naked, video, taken pictures and asked to confessed that i am gay. Later they asked me to join them and help them to deceive other gay that I know and those that I have their contacts in my phone. but I insisted that I cannot do it. I told them I had never been a cult member, nor a criminal . But they insisted that I must join, they said that my duty is just to give them the contacts of the people and deceive them, while they do the rest thing. I told them ‘ I cannot’. It got to an extent that they wanted to give me an Indian herb ( I-gbo) to smoke and root from Ogogoro to drink. At this juncture, I told them that i am a priest. They started calling me ‘ the gay pastor’. They further told me that they are “black axe ” by name, and that they also sell parts of human being , but only when a buyer is ready in order for the person not to waste.( that is, they see buyer(s) before they kill human being. That is, they can even kill a full human being just because of one or two parts a buyer needed according to them). They said “as a very strong and handsome young man, i should join them”. They said that since I am a pastor I will not involve in killing but my duty is to make sure that I deceive gay and also give them their contacts. Lo and behold, right in my present two guys and a lady were brought with strong bit. As they bit them, one guy was strongly fighting with them and was killed in the process. When they realised that the guy is death, they dragged him into the bathroom. I cannot really say everything that happened to me in that place because it was really a horror dilemma. I left the place only by God’s intervention and destiny fighting for me. Almost every young boy/man in that community is involve in this act, including some girls which they use to get homosexual girls ( lesbians). They don’t do this evil to only gays , but as far as straights. They use the name ‘gay’ to criminalize their victims, whether gay or not. I also believe strongly that some of these criminals/Cultists are gays. They are in the Facebook, 2go, whatsapp group chat, manjam.com, gay.com, Nigeria gay.com, etc. My advice to my people out there is that, just be careful and watch out for them. they are everywhere, they are in your midst and some have gone out from us for this so evil purpose. Watch out for anyone who is saying that “to be a homosexual is a sin”, whereas, he is a homosexual and still involve in same sex. Beware of anyone who is yet to accept his sexuality and one who has not reconciled his sexuality with God and his conscience but still struggling over it, whether to accept it all not. They are traitors( betrayers and sheep in wolves clothes), because they will either put you into trouble it will soon put themselves into trouble and later involve you. I hate telling people my stories this days because they would listen and hear you out as if they care about you. But at the end, after spending your time, strength and energy to tell them your stories, everything would turn out to be a waste of your saliver. It seems everybody today is interested in hearing news of what happened to their fellow human being. They listen, look at you and go on their ways without returning to see how you are faring. Some assumed others have helped you or will help you. I wish to boldly tell this set of people that they are still very far from a good Samaritan. Do much of empathy than just sympathizing over critical condition such as this. I don’t wish anyone to experience what i have experienced in the Church (Religion) and the society (secular) at large. My ministry/ priesthood was truncated by the Anglican Church of Nigeria not because I did any hurt to anybody, the Church nor to the society. But just because I am different, and that my Theological/Biblical view about human sexuality is quite different. It is because of my stance and firm belief that I am being persecuted!!!, sanctioned and criminalised. Oh God! please help me out……( O Chineke! nyere m aka) ( E Oghene! biko chavwe ukooo). ‘It is good to die in fighting than to die in hiding’. And Even if i die today, my blood like the blood of Abel will cry unto God.Because the blood of the Saint gays in one place is a seed for the freedom of gays everywhere. I rest my case. Thanks +2348175560984 . For more details you are free to call me if you have a pragmatic intention and plan for me. Thanks

  • comment-avatar
    peter wegos 6 years

    All of your stories are all correct but one I want to say is that since this country prohibit this stuff,then we should at least hid ourself to prevent us from dismay,shame,insult nd bitting……it doesn’t mean you hidding u don’t know what you are doing or what to do of a truth the those guys took from u will go along way when u are in need of it but just becuase of what happened all your savings is .my advice to all is that we shouldn’t visit instead we should invite the dude over to save dismay and when he refuse our proposal then let him becuase his not the only dude and u don’t know what his up to.

  • comment-avatar

    The police will do worse if you report to them; what a dilemma!

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