In a heartfelt and brave account, Samsondeen Goloba has shared a powerful narrative of enduring tragedy, discrimination, and a relentless quest for justice. This story spans decades and continents, unveiling the challenges faced by an individual due to their sexual orientation in a society deeply rooted in tradition and bias.
This narrative begins in the aftermath of his father’s passing in May 2003, a crucial moment that set the stage for the tumultuous journey ahead. The loss of his father brought significant changes to his family dynamics, exposing a darker side marked by hostility and discrimination against his mother and her children. It was during this trying period that his mother exhibited unwavering resilience and commitment to her faith and her children’s education amidst the chaos.
Fast forward to 2005, Samsondeen mother started a fabric business in the lively town of Ilasa, Lagos. As a devout Christian, Samsondeen mother sought spiritual protection by attending a local church, the Apostolic Church of God, led by Pastor Tony Ikechukwu. During this spiritual journey, their lives intersected with Pastor Tony Ikechukwu, who exploited Samsondeen’s vulnerability under the guise of spiritual guidance.
In a society that showed no tolerance for homosexuality and clung to tradition, Samsondeen endured unimaginable suffering in silence. It wasn’t until 2006, when he gathered the courage to confide in his mother, that the veil of secrecy began to lift. Her love and concern for his safety prompted a report to the authorities, but justice remained frustratingly elusive as Pastor Tony Ikechukwu evaded accountability.
After revealing his sexual orientation, Samsondeen found himself caught in a nightmarish cycle of persecution. He became an outcast in his own community, enduring physical abuse, constant humiliation, and societal rejection. Despite these relentless trials, he tenaciously pursued his education, facing further challenges during his time at Lagos State University (LASU). His mere presence on campus made him a target for discrimination and abuse.
In 2015, Samsondeen’s quest for a life free from discrimination and prejudice led him to the United States. Here, he met his wife, Jasmine, and began the arduous process of rebuilding his life. Tragically, upon Samsondeen’s return to Nigeria, his dear friend Kola Adeyemi Buta, along with two other victims, Akeem Ajaiy and David Akinola, met a violent end in Ajax, Lagos, Nigeria. They were victims of a heinous hate crime by the OPC (Odua People Congress) due to their sexual orientation. Kola’s tragic fate highlights the urgent need for justice and transformation in a society that continues to perpetuate hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community.
Samsondeen’s traumatic journey stands as a testament to his resilience and unwavering determination. His story serves as a reminder that no one should have to endure such torment due to their sexual orientation. He implores the Nigerian government and law enforcement to seek justice for Kola’s death and emphasizes the importance of eradicating discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.
In Samsondeen’s courage, we find hope and inspiration. His story calls for justice, compassion, and transformation in a society that must progress towards acceptance and empathy. May Kola’s tragic loss be a catalyst for ending discrimination and sparking profound change and progress in Nigeria and around the world.