The Changing Attitude blog reports that the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs reported to the UN periodic review of human rights in Geneva on February 9, 2009 that they know of no gays or lesbians in Nigeria, let alone LGBT groups, and therefore see no reason to protect their rights. Davis Mac-Iyalla and other leaders of Changing Attitude Nigeria described the statement as a lie.
The Minister, Ojo Madueke, said:
As we have indicated in our National Report, we have no record of any group of Nigerians, who have come together under the umbrella of “Lesbian, Gay and Transgender” group, let alone to start talking of their rights.
During our National Consultative Forum, we went out of our way to look for the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender group, but we could not come across Nigerians with such sexuality....
If they are an amorphous group, then the question of violence against them does not arise, let alone negotiating special rights for them.
Colin Coward of Changing Attitudes UK said,
I agree with Davis and the other leaders – this is a blatant lie. Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) and other LGBT groups exist in Nigeria. CAN is a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The group has received widespread publicity in the Nigerian media and online. The group is well known to the hierarchy of the Church of Nigeria, as documents on the CA website prove. Senior bishops and archbishops have close connections with the government. LGBT contacts in Nigeria repeatedly tell me of politicians and senior government figures who are known to be gay.
It is a lie that the National Consultative Forum went out of its way to look for LGBT people. They didn’t look very far. An Google search for LGBT Nigeria groups lists as the first find, a report of CAN’s letter to the Anglican Primates meeting in Dar es Salaam in May 2007.
As reports on the web site show, LGBT people in Nigeria are repeatedly subject to violence, by the police as well as civilians. The UK Government has granted asylum to Davis Mac-Iyalla and Stephen Wariebi Hobo because they were deemed to be at serious risk were they to return to Nigeria.
Read the rest here.