Olayinka Susan Egbuchiri, a refugee claimant from Nigeria, arrived in Canada in March 2019 along with her children. She is seeking protection for she and her children, from her in-laws and her own family. She hopes to spare her daughter the trauma of experiencing Female Genital Mutilation and her sons from getting initiated into a deity cult by her in-laws. She also faces occultic initiation of her children by in-laws. Sharing her ordeal with Persecondnews, she explains why her life is in danger in Nigeria.
Living In Fear
Olayinka Susan Egbuchiri, a refugee claimant from Nigeria, have living in Canada since March, 2019. According to her, she left Nigeria for the U.S with her children due to serious problems she was having with her in-laws and sibling.
“Before me and my children left Nigeria for the United States, I was passing through hell in the hands of my in-laws and my own family members, especially my own brother, Abiodun.
“Having been away for such long a time, one would have assumed that they would have forgotten about me and my children, but I was wrong.
“My husband was the only person who stood by my side before I left Nigeria. He was very supportive all through my stay in the US until things became very difficult for us and together with my children sought refuge in Canada.
“However, on getting to Canada my husband suddenly changed towards me. He was compromised by his family, as the pressure from his family got to him.
” It was a mystery to me the day he called that I should return our children back to Nigeria to be subjected to family demand knowing the consequences of the initiation and calamity that await us if we return. This argument and disagreement continue until it degenerated into an unresolved fight between us.
“I was shocked when the father of my children started calling and asking me to consider taking the kids and return back home to Nigeria, knowing what awaits me and the kids back in Nigeria. I could not believe that he was making such suggestions.
“What I thought was a joke from him gradually became a constant discussion which later degenerated into arguments and fights over the phone. This continued from October 2019 until March 2020.
After series of threats, my husband filed for divorce in Nigeria, with severe warning that if I don’t return he’ll harm me and take away the kids.
“The only thing these people are concerned about is how to hurt me and my kids. I don’t know what else to do as I continue to struggle with my emotions and agony of what awaits me if I ever have to go back to face these people in Nigeria,” she narrated.
Life in Canada
For Susan, being in Canada this period has made her realize what freedom and safety means to any person.
“Over the last 18 months of my stay in Canada all I have heard from back home is how members of both my ex-husband’s and my own family are making efforts and hatching evil plans awaiting the return of myself and my children.
“Although I am here in Canada safely with my kids and we have all adjusted to the new life here. My children are doing just fine in school and in their studies, they have made a lot new friends too,” she enthused.
Initiation and FGM
As a mother, Susan cannot stand to see her children suffer the consequences of a tradition and culture they know nothing about.
“I refused and stood my grounds that I will not allow my kids, especially my sons to be initiated into their deity cult known as Umuozu shrine worshippers, before they attain the age of 7 to 8 years of age. I have seen children who are initiated into this cult in their early age suffer adverse effects and negative consequences in their youth. As a mother I cannot allow these people suffer my kids through body incisions and rubbing of unknown substances into such open wounds that may affect their well being.
“Also my husband’s family are into female genital mutilation and as such puts my daughter in line of danger as she will definitely be subjected to such cruel and harmful traditional practice of circumcision,” she explained.
“I thought he was not serious all along until recently when I received the decision of the final dissolution of our union as husband and wife, which would have been 10 years by December 18, 2020.
“Since receiving this news my life has been shattered, my little hope of support that I was hanging onto has disappeared. This has been a harrowing experience for me and my kids.
“Who is now going to protect me and my children from my evil in-laws or from the vile of my brother who is using his connection as a police officer to perpetrate evil against me?”, she questioned.
Pressure accompanied with Threats and Rumuors
According to Susan, the pressures from home never stopped, as her ex-husband’s family have constantly been threatening her and even went as far as spreading rumors of her indulging in lesbianism.
“My ex-husband’s family is constantly issuing threats calling for my head if I do not bring their children back to them, which they want me to do that as soon as possible. I have become a fugitive before my own very family and my ex-husband’s family.
“I have had to change my phone number but my ex-husband’s family still have ways to reach me, and the threats to our lives continue. They want me to provide my daughter to fulfill the task of circumcision.
“All these pressures was nothing compared with the latest rumor my ex-husband’s family has manufactured and is currently making the rounds in our community.
Nigeria not safe for LGBT
Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is considered illegal in Nigeria. The maximum punishment for same-sex sexual activity in Nigeria is 14 years imprisonment. The Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act criminalises all forms of same-sex unions and same-sex marriage in Nigeria.
With this rumour, Susan’s life is in danger if she returns back, as she faces 14 year’s imprisonment.
“The youths in our community will take the laws into their own hands on hearing such accusation about any member of the community being involved in same sex.
“As it now stands I cannot show my face in my community nor walk the street freely anymore, unless I am able to clear myself of this stigmatization. This has greatly impacted on my life and has made me so depressed and the thought of ending it all is not far away, as I keep getting suicidal thoughts these days.
“However, I got my kids to think of at this stage in my life. They need me as much as I need them. I know I will not survive long in Nigeria, especially with this new accusation.
“How will my sons ever be able to survive the barbaric fetish rituals of cult initiation and my daughter a forceful circumcision or be able to freely mix up with other kids at school without being called homophobic names?
“This is why I must continue to appeal to the government of Canada for protection of my kids and myself,” she said.