“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization”, these are the profound words of the great Mahatma Gandhi. One would not be wrong to say that, irrespective of the remarkable progress that Ghana as a nation has made, we have failed the test of unity and diversity. As long as diversity is concerned, there still remains much to be desired of us as a society wanting to make sure that we cement a strong footing in modernity. In this day and age, there still exists prejudice, discrimination and hostility towards individuals simply as a result of whom they have chosen to love. How can we continue to hate people because of their love choices?
It is not rare to come across horrific acts of violence and abuse being meted out to people who are either caught or suspected to be gays. What’s sad is that, the perpetrators of such crimes have been emboldened by the very society which otherwise should have been protector of all persons regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference.
Abanga Iddi and his alleged gay boyfriend Ziad Majeed are two unfortunate victims of such needless and condemnable acts of violence. The two young men were said to be in their mid-twenties, and were students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The two alleged lovers were are believed to have been suspected to be homosexuals. This suspicion made them subjects of rejection and discrimination among fellow students. Students who were close to the situation revealed that both Abanga and Ziad had been known gays, as their love affair was an open secret. They further explained that both had been closely monitored by an anti-gay group which was resident on the University campus.
June 15, 2020 was a day which Abanga and Ziad would wish had never come. According to eyewitness accounts, the couple were caught having sex in one of the school’s private hostels. News of the affair suddenly spread like wildfire and they were soon rounded up by a mob, believed to be members of the anti-gay group dubbed, Faggot Eliminators Association.
According to the reports, the group chanted anti-gay slurs and beat the couple severely with sticks and rocks. Witnesses say, Abanga was hit repeatedly in the head and stoned multiple times. Luckily Ziad managed to flee the scene but Abanga was lifeless before help could arrive.
“Never have I seen such amount of hatred on people’s faces. They meant to kill him, you could visibly see it in their eyes”, said a person who witnessed the incident firsthand.
Several attempts have since been made to get authorities to comment on this barbaric attack but to no avail. As at now, we’re unable to establish as to whether some arrests have been made in connection with the incident; the police remain lip-tight on the matter. Also, the whereabouts of the other victim, Ziad Majeed, continues to be a mystery. The promising life of an innocent man has been cut short, and the education and future of another ruined!
For now, the future remains bleak and dangerous for Ghana’s LGBTQ community. The nation continues to operate under colonial-era laws which criminalize homosexuality, this makes it extremely unlikely for victims to get justice. Until these inhumane laws are rewritten, we shall remain very far and distant from being an ideal modern civilization.