A young man in Lagos, Nigeria, reportedly committed suicide last week after he was blackmailed by homophobes.
By Mike Daemon
Even though sexual orientation is not criminalized in Nigeria, LGBTIQ+ people in the country continue to suffer various forms of social ills. Blackmail and extortion make the list of some of the many things that LGBTIQ+ people suffer in the country based on their real or perceived sexual orientation.
The case of the young man, simply identified as Olamilekan, is one of many sad but familiar stories. His online friends said he poisoned himself last week after being blackmailed.
Friends of the deceased shared his photograph on social media with information stating that the young man had resorted to taking his own life after he couldn’t deal with the trauma of being outed.
They also shared that he drank Sniper, a poisonous chemical originally meant for the farm, which over time has been wrongly adopted by most Nigerians for use as a household insecticide and rodent-killer.
Olamilekan is said to have died in Lagos, where he lived on Oct. 29 after taking the poison.
As at the time of writing this report, not much is known about the young man beyond the friends’ account.
Mike Daemon adds:
We sympathize with the family and friends of the deceased whom we believe must be going through a very difficult time, and wish that they find the strength to deal with the death of the young man.
At NoStringsNG, we understand that many people are unable to handle thoughts of suicide and navigating life as a queer person living in a homophobic clime such as Nigeria. That is why we developed the Qtalk, a counseling and social app for queer Nigerians through which they can access legal and psychosocial support when needed.
To download the app, click HERE.