The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, otherwise called LGBT, in Nigeria is gradually gaining popularity like their counterparts in other parts of the world.
Despite the strict laws against homosexuality in the country, a gay rights activist and public speaker, Bisi Alimi, hosted an event during the week in Lagos State.
Speaking about what inspired the event tagged ‘Night of Diversity 2019’, Alimi told Sunday Scoop, “What propels me is my fundamental human right as a Nigerian to associate and celebrate with whoever I want. It is our own way of creating something for us, who are extremely marginalised in a country like Nigeria and to be able to share our stories with our friends and allies in a space that is safe and allows us to express ourselves.
“Living abroad and seeing how a free environment has positive impact on people’s lives, I felt Nigerians should also enjoy the good things of life.”
Asked if he wasn’t scared that he could be arrested based on the anti-gay law in the country, Alimi said, “I wouldn’t say I was scared of the anti-gay law because I strongly believe that the Nigerian government has to understand the importance of the constitution. The law states that when the act of parliament comes in conflict with the constitution, the constitution takes preeminence. And the Nigerian Constitution says that I and people like me have a right to association. I am guessing that Nigeria can try to stop us but they will have to justify that by the constitution.”
The London-based activist maintained that there was no security threat during the event. He said, “There was actually nothing like that. We had a fantastic event and we were not afraid of anyone. Nobody troubled us. We had our friends, families and allies there. We had no reason to be afraid at all. I was impressed by the turnout as over 100 people attended. Meanwhile, traffic was hellish on that day and we thought people would not come, but people braved all odds and attended. That shows how much people have wanted something like that.”
Alimi also noted that ‘it was irresponsible for the government to spend its time on what Bobrisky was doing’. He added, “There are more problems in this country and more issues to pay attention to. I don’t know how Bobrisky’s presence in the country is creating problems for the road, healthcare and many things that the government needs to fix.”