It is a popular notion that the only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. This is the case when it comes to reporting LGBT attacks and violations in Nigeria. As seen with a recent attack on 2 perceived gay men in Imo state, acclaimed news sites like Pulse.ng and Naij.com gave their reports from the fence with total reflection on a Facebook rant from Romeo Oriogun.
After the attacks, Romeo took to FaceBook to share the following;
“He didn’t steal, he didn’t molest anyone, he didn’t r*pe anybody, he didn’t hurt anybody. He was lynched because he dared to love, because he dared to be himself. Fvck! It is 2018 and homosexuals are still treated as animals, are still treated as people without rights. Nigeria will break you till you forget you are human. Who gave people the right to lynch a human being? Damn! This is stupid, this is so stupid. Nobody deserves to go through this kind of hell. Just imagine after lynching him and his partner, they were almost set ablaze before the police arrested them and they were only released to a lawyer because of their injuries. They looted their properties; phones, cash, motorcycle, everything. Nigeria is a sad excuse for a country. Nigerians will blame Queer people for everything yet it is in this country that Catholic Priests and their parishioners were killed by herdsmen, it is in this country that politicians loot our treasury and walk freely as they are hailed, it is in this country that health care in rural areas is nothing to write home about, despite our many problems Nigerians are not bothered, they reserve their anger for Queer people because they are the cause of everything, because what they do with their bodies will make the economy crumble.”
While there is definitely no fault in reporting Romeo’s thoughts on the gay attack, I find it weird that the writers have no say on this issue. Rather than condemn the actions of the mob, Mr Ayodele Johnson who reported for Pulse went on to include an unrelated photo of two men engaging in a sexual act in his post. In another unrelated bid he also went on to profile popular gay rights activist; Bisi Alimi, not highlighting his stance in relation to the attacks thereby rendering it baseless.
This is a clear representation of how the Nigerian media sees LGBT attacks and discrimination as a topic that doesn’t deserve to have their support but instead should be treated as an advertisement of sexual acts and baseless story telling. The true story is that Jungle Justice is wrong and there is nothing to gain by beating humans (not even animals) to a bloody state for actions that have in no way brought harm to others or reduced them to not having the right to love like every other person.
For what happened in Imo state to stop and also for the general safeguarding of LGBT persons, voices must be raised against actions like Jungle Justice, violations and discrimination. Good men mustn’t do nothing.