Nigeria is a significant power in West Africa and what happens in the country is noted by people in other parts of the region, especially when it comes to Nigerian culture. But an area where Nigeria is similar to other parts of Africa is in its society’s anti-LGBT attitudes. Christian and Islamic conservatism in Nigeria has largely been peddled because of fundamentalists traveling to the country to reinforce existing anti-LGBT views with theological justifications. In Nigeria it is socially acceptable to persecute LGBT people and this is illustrated by the news coming out of Lagos state this week when 42 men were arrested for having homosexual sex.
The ongoing political crisis in The Gambia has escalated further after Yahya Jammeh refused to peacefully transfer power to Adama Barrow, the victor in the most recent presidential election. Jammeh had previously said that he had no intention of leaving, and as a result ECOWAS threatened military action to oust the former president from power. However because of the passage of the ECOWAS deadline, and Jammeh’s choice to retain power, ECOWAS forces have invaded The Gambia.
From 1967 to 1970 the south-eastern corner of Nigeria seceded and formed its own nation-state called Biafra. This state was largely unrecognised and in 1970 the breakaway state was reincorporated into Nigeria after an incredibly violent civil war that killed between 45,000 and 75,000 people. Since the region was recaptured by the Nigerian army, secessionist feelings have remained strong and there are often protests demanding a referendum on independence or for political leaders to secede unilaterally.