57 IMPRISONED

57 IMPRISONED

Last August, 57 men were arrested in Lagos, after the police crashed a party in Egbeda. They were accused of attending a gay initiation party – an arrest that completely trampled human rights and unashamedly perpetuated lies. The news made headlines, the kind of reprehensible media reportage that took advantage of actual human beings to further the homophobic agenda of this country.

But that was short-lived, soon to be outshone when James Brown came into the scene, one of the arrested “suspects” who became an internet sensation when he was caught on camera protesting his arrest with the now-famous words: “They didn’t caught me!”

It was everywhere in the news. He was everywhere in the news. Comedic skits and music videos were everywhere touting the words – “They didn’t caught me.” The attention of Nigerians were successfully diverted from the tragedy of the unjustified arrests and focused on the comic emergence of James Brown.

He trended, and then he stopped trending.

With a new news cycle, James Brown and his “they didn’t caught me” fame was yesterday’s news. He kept cropping up in the news though, like when Bobrisky uploaded an instagram photo of them posing together, James holding a wad of naira notes. Clearly, a new celebrity friendship had been formed.

As time passed, I forgot about James Brown. I also forgot that people were actually arrested.

But I am here to tell you that all that played out before us was just on the surface. What actually went down, what happened away from the eyes of the public, is unspeakable. This is what I have decided to bring this to the knowledge of everyone who has been oblivious, so that we’ll be aware and know what we’re up against, and how the antigay law keeps on destroying the lives of young, promising Nigerians.

Here is a link to a podcast. It is a recording titled 57 GAYS IMPRISONED. Please, I urge you, if you haven’t listened to it, please do so. Listen to it in a quiet environment, preferably with your headphones on. If you have any problems loading it, like I did, then download Google podcast from your Google Play Store and search for Queer City. You’ll be able to load it then and listen without any hindrance.

It’s really sad and disheartening what we go through just because we’re different. We are treated like the absolute worst kind of criminals.

Sigh.

I’m tired and I don’t even know what to say. My heart is heavy. Please just listen to the podcast and air your views here, let’s talk about it.

Click HERE to listen.

Written by Peace

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14 Comments

  1. Delle
    March 12, 08:47 Reply

    Thank you for this, Peace. People need to know it’s a lot more than we were made to believe. Reading through this post, I recall how dismal I felt when I listened to the podcast. The heartrending narrative. People fucking died!

    The journey is still quite far. This podcast brings the horrid reality to our doorsteps. It really is a lot more. Our system is a lot more draconian.

    I pray, I sincerely hope we become fine.

    • Peace
      March 12, 09:52 Reply

      I don’t even want to remember it. What those guys went through was inhumane.

  2. bamidele
    March 12, 09:42 Reply

    Thank you for sharing.
    Gay issue is embedded in other forms of systems in Nigeria which are all decaying. Nigerian human right based on social class class. As we can see, no ‘big man’ child or relative will ever get arrested this way. There is rarely any justice for the common man in Nigeria. Unfortunately politics in Nigeria is so corrupt that voting the political cannibals out remains a big challenge. Besides, many of the masses have been so brainwashed that the only thing they do is fight one another rather fighting those on top of them. Side by side are the hypocritic Abrahamic (Christian and Islamic) religions that dominate Nigeria. Indeed, many of our traditional religions (which have been abandoned) are far more tolerant than these dehumanizing religions we’ve adopted. Once present political system and these religions are deconstructed, addressing the reality will not only become easier, but fighting for gay rights will become easier. But the question is where to start from and how to fight these systems!

    • Peace
      March 12, 09:55 Reply

      Bami, you’re absolutely right. The system is far gone, and the so called hope for the common man (the judiciary) is a failure!

    • Higwe
      March 12, 13:20 Reply

      Even if we somehow manage to oust these leading political thugs, I doubt religion will ever be deconstructed.
      It has embedded so deeply in the heart of our people, that I don’t think we will ever be able to move against it.
      As more enlightened people are becoming a lot more vocal in their religious criticisms ;a lot more people are getting involved in alternate religions and the need to camouflage and play under the radar (to mask their deleterious atrocities) means they will still have to publicly pretend to uphold those conventional religious doctrines and at such, throw people they’re worse than under the bus to save their hypocritical facade.

      The most realistic thing for any gay man who can afford to, is leave this hellhole :and if you can’t, just lay under the radar and work on your finances….financial Independence- somehow makes you a bit more secure and a lot more untouchable.

      • bamidele
        March 13, 15:08 Reply

        You’ve hit the nail right on the head, Higwe. Religious fanatism has always been world’s major problem. Worse still, are the hypocrites within the religious arena, who are more poisonous than green snakes. And like you said, the best is for minorities who cannot afford to, or choose to live in Nigeria, maintain above average finiancial status to be able to survive all of this intimidating drama…. mmm….

  3. trystham
    March 12, 10:18 Reply

    While the unfairness of it all rankles, I couldn’t get my mind off the fact that A LOT of Nigerians in those prisons are falsely accused. The joint action of both police and the prison guards…in short uniformed men reinforces my decision to hate these senseless power wielders. And then the judges…is that they don’t have common sense or they just lose it when their bigotry is involved? What evidences did they have to incarcerate those guys beyond ‘gay’?

    • Pink Panther
      March 12, 11:51 Reply

      When those tasked to uphold the law turn around to disregard it so flagrantly. SMH.

  4. Malik
    March 12, 12:08 Reply

    This is just to plead with everyone that comes across this post to listen to that podcast. It is very sad, very chilling, very infuriating as well. One day, when our resistance fully begins, when we start marching and actively pushing back, we’ll need podcasts like this for context and as motivation to bring all this bullshit to an end.

  5. Higwe
    March 12, 13:45 Reply

    Funnily enough, some of the men that did this to these boys, might be gay themselves.

    I remember (I think ) last year , I added this young hot police officer on facebook. He was very vocal about his hate for homosexuals and always threatened fire and brimstone much to the adulation of his facebook fandom (he is quite popular)

    .at a point, his hotness was not enough for me to keep enduring such level of toxicity ,so I decided to ‘unfriend ‘ him.
    That was the day I got a “hello” from him …subsequently we moved our chats to Whatsapp….he kept bugging me to visit him at his ward in Abuja, and I felt like it was time I let the cat out of the bag…. I asked him how I would feel comfortable visiting him when I knew he was a raging homophobe and the guy I introduced as my brother, wasn’t actually my brother but my live-in boyfriend….

    his retort was shocking…
    ” no worry, I go fuck the homo out of your system ” this, accompanied with a laughing emoji…

    Whether it was a potential Kito set up or merely the case of another self hating closeted man, I never dared to find out.
    We communicated sparingly after that awkward chat, till we stopped communicating altogether.

    Just putting it out there.. our war is not just with the society and its agencies but also with our own members.

    When you look at it: over 70 percent of kitoers are gay men.

    • Delle
      March 12, 17:52 Reply

      You even had the mind not to block him immediately. Like wtf!

      And I’ll say 80%.

  6. Cjay
    March 12, 17:03 Reply

    It’s was around this time last year when I also had the same inhumane treatment/experience of being rearrested and was charged to court for ‘you dey fuck man’ ..
    I heard things like: ‘it’s life imprisonment
    ‘fine boy like you,you no see girls’
    ‘Oya add 14years to your current age’
    ‘you need deliverance’
    ‘who initiated you to this game’ ..

    I got to be in a real prison cell awaiting trials with harden unrepentant killers, terrorist, thiefs who for some reasons feels like their crimes is better or forgivable than mine.. They even backed it up with scriptures .. Lol..
    I’m still putting words together, bits by bits on my experience though.. I’m just not a good writer.. Lol

    Anyways.. All I can say is, NO ONE SHOULD BE MADE TO GO THROUGH THAT TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE FOR BEING WHO THEY ARE ..

    • Peace
      March 12, 22:52 Reply

      Oh dear, I’m sorry you went through this. Oh my, I can’t even imagine the horrible things you faced. But then, I can’t wait for your own story. I’m rooting for you Nnam.

  7. Queernerd
    April 27, 04:05 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this, i remember while i was editing this episode, i was almost traumatized, having to listen to the story for almost 72 hours..

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