About ten (10) guys who have admitted of indulging themselves in same-sex relationships have revealed what they went through in a country—where LGBT rights are heavily suppressed.
The group made up of Abdul Mumuni Braimah, Yakubu Gariba Al-Hassan, Salifu Awudu, Aggrey Emmanuel, Sulemana (Sulley), Mohammed Gariba Alhassan, Abdul Karim Amadu, David Asante, Salu Jafaru, Abass Mohammed who hails from Ghana stated that their families abandoned them after they found out their chosen sexual orientations.
According to the group, the society rose against them and resulted in the lynching of some of their peers.
Narrating their ordeal, they indicated that the only way to survive was to run for their lives of which they are yet to locate some of their friends.
“We have been attacked severally by those who are supposed to protect us. All this is happening because we chose to live the alternative lifestyle that is gay. I believe we were not born with feelings towards the opposite sex and this has brought a lot of problems to us. We have been disowned by our parents. Sadly, four of my brothers have been missing and I am hopeful I could locate them some day. We were nine brothers, Brothers because we follow the same sexual orientation and we were disowned by our people. Just this November, we were nearly lynched.
“A friend by the name Salifu offered us a room in their house at Fiapre a suburb of Sunyani. We seldom meet there…but sometimes we passed the night and spend the weekends there. We did not know we were being monitored by those who have sworn heavens and earth to eliminate us because they perceive us to be gay. On that fateful night, we were to meet there but we had a call from another friend who offered to host us that night at his place. That was what saved us but unfortunately for Salifu Awudu’s younger brother, Awudu Mohammed (Paapa) and Sulemana (Sulley) who happened to be in the house were lynched. The gates to the house were broken and they were beaten to death. It was established the next morning that, those who were lynched were not us. We were told by a female neighbour that no matter what happens we would be hunted and killed,” Yakubu Gariba Al-Hassan said amidst tears.
“The Police came in the morning and branded the lynched guys us thieves but which in an actual sense, they were not. A national newspaper published this story. In the said article, it was reported that the attack happened at the outskirt of the town, this is not true. It happened right in the house R 30/8 Sunyani Fiapre. This could be crosschecked. Since then we have been living in fear and panic, we lived and hide in uncompleted buildings, hardly do we come out.
“Along the line, we were again attacked this time at our new hideout, it was set ablaze and everything was burnt down to ashes. Once again, we were lucky it was day time and we were out in town. Death threats keep coming to us from almost all angles. These, with all our past predicaments, pointed to our death. I had to abandon the university in 2013 because a cousin told an uncle I was gay. This has affected me greatly,” he added.
“I remember being taking to a prayer camp in somewhere 2008 with the notion that I was being possessed by demons. I was chained to a tree for about two weeks. After being made to eat several concoctions and used some to take a bath. I was torched with a hot iron on my right lap,” Salifu Awudu recounted.
Abdul Mumuni Braimah also narrated: “On Monday 5th October 2015 at around 5:30 pm, few minutes after I left the campus of AITI in Accra where I was schooling, on my motorbike I was hit down by a pickup in between AITI and the school of journalism. These guys came down and were arguing in the Hausa language, some said let’s finish him so he will not come having sex with our boys…others said let’s beat him that will signal as a warning. So they started kicking me with their foot, shortly after these, private security guys around the area came to my rescue, so they checked up on me, and I had a cut on my left arm, all this time I had my helmet on and that helped a lot. I lived in fear and could not complete the school.”
Under Ghanaian criminal law, same-sex sexual activity is illegal and the penalty for is three (3) years imprisonment if consensual.