Gay rights activist Bisi Alimi has expressed optimism, after a poll found that support for Nigeria’s anti-gay law is slowly declining.
The poll, taken earlier last week, found that 87 percent of Nigerians support a law criminalizing same-sex relationships went down from 96 percent from a few years ago.
In an interview with GLAAD reporter Claire Pires, Alimi – the founder of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, and the first man to come out on Nigerian television – explains the traditional anti-gay attitude in Nigeria and his hopeful findings through social polling for the national LGBT tolerance rate.
Alimi said: “When the result came out… it dropped from 96 percent to 87 percent. That’s a huge drop! We can’t believe that in Nigeria we get this out.
“If Nigeria, at a population of 170 million people, the most populous black nation in the world, the biggest economy on the continent of Africa, one of the African’s biggest superpowers… if a country like that can be more accepting of social issues… you can imagine what impact that will have on the continent.”
In 2010, 96 percent of Nigerians were in favour of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which forces anyone outwardly involved in the LGBT community to be imprisoned, some for 14 years. President Goodluck Jonathan signed the law quietly in early 2014.
With the help of NOIPolls, by 2015, the group had found the support rate had dropped to 87 percent.
Alimi hopes that, by 2020, it will have decreased further to 60 percent.