OP-ED People 

On My Funeral

 By Leo Igwe When  I die, I would want to be given a humanist funeral. I do not want a religious funeral service because such a ceremony is not consistent with my life stance. I believe that when people die, they should be buried in line with the principles and values that guided their lives. It is a dishonor to do otherwise. I have made this position known to my family and I hope they will respect it. I am reinforcing this position by making it public and  will back…

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Leo Igwe OP-ED Opinions 

Heart of Humanism

The Heart of Humanism award recognizes an individual who exemplifies humanist values. This year the recipient is Leo Igwe. Leo has been a friend of FBB for many years, having been pivotal in helping develop the program that became Humanist Action: Ghana. Leo is a Board Member of Humanists International and the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Humanist Association of Nigeria. For decades, Leo has been a human rights advocate in Africa, focusing on the rights of women and children accused of witchcraft and protecting people against…

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Authors 

Leo Igwe

Leo Igwe (born 26 July 1970) is a Nigerian human rights advocate and humanist. Igwe is a former Western and Southern African representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and has specialized in campaigning against and documenting the impacts of child witchcraft accusations. He holds a Ph.D from the Bayreuth International School of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, having earned a graduate degree in philosophy from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. Igwe’s human rights advocacy has brought him into conflict with high-profile witchcraft believers,…

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Africa OP-ED Opinions 

Atheism And Virus Of Taqiyyah In Muslim Communities By Leo Igwe

Since the arrest and detention of Mubarak Bala, the atheist community in Nigeria has been afflicted by a more virulent form of Taqiyyah. Some Muslim individuals, who are seeking to fulfill imagined protective duties, have reached out to atheist and humanist organizations. These questers for this-worldly and otherworldly gains, desirers of Ummah capital, and transcendental mileage have been the prowl. Even before the arrest of Bala, Taqiyyah Muslims were there. Taqqiyyah lurked in the underground atheist movement and is linked to Bala’s arrest, the outing of atheists, and a  clampdown…

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Africa OP-ED Opinions 

Religion And Contempt For Humanity By Leo Igwe

While there has been so much emphasis on how religion is a resource for human nourishment and enrichment, there has been limited conversation on the harmful and deleterious effect of religion on human beings. Religion has notedly inspired acts of love, kindness, compassion, and fellow feeling. Religion has motivated people to do so much good and render selfless services to other humans. At the same time, religion has been a force of unimaginable evil and harm. Faith in God(Allah) has compelled human beings to abuse, kill, kidnap, pillage, and destroy…

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Lifestyle Nigeria West Africa 

AFAW Rescues Man Accused of ‘Stealing’ Destinies of People in Nigeria

On May 5, an associate of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AFAW) drew attention to the case of a man who was accused of ‘holding’ the destinies of people in the community, Ugbelle. Ugbelle is in Ideato South (not Ideato North as earlier reported) in Orlu, Imo state. The man was alleged to have engaged in some occult activities that had hampered the progress and development of people in the community. A photo that was circulating on social media showed an elderly man, probably in his seventies surrounded by a…

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OP-ED Opinions 

Atheist Sallah Message To Muslims By Leo Igwe

I am writing to extend warm greetings to all Muslims across the country on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr, being aware this message may come as a surprise to many of you. But it should not, especially for those who understand the history of humanism and atheism in the country. Humanism is not against Islam. Atheists are not against Muslims. Almost all members of the humanist/atheist community are very well versed in Islamic, Christian and various other religions. Most of us have religious ties. We have connections to Muslims; as friends…

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Africa Latest 

Mubarak Bala: Blasphemy Allegations, Religious Oppression and Muslim Majority in Northern Nigeria

It is now almost four weeks since the police arrested Nigerian atheist, Mubarak Bala following a petition that he insulted the prophet of Islam. The police have, in the quest to appease the petitioners and the Islamist base, held Mr. Bala incommunicado, without access to lawyers and family members. The police have yet to charge him in court. And in an apparent endorsement of the detention, the Islamic establishment has remained silent in the face of this outrage. There has not been any press statement from Islamic organizations regarding the…

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OP-ED Opinions 

COVID-19: Pastor Died And Pastor Wants To Die By Leo Igwe

Recently a pastor died. A Cameroonian faith healer, Prophet Frankline Ndifor died a week after battling with the coronavirus. Ndifor’s death is linked to a violation of COVID19 guidelines. He was laying hands on those with confirmed cases of COVID19.  A pastor has also died in Port Harcourt in a similar circumstance. There may have been some other unreported cases of faith healing pastors who have died after laying hands on COVID19 patients. This is a sad development. Some weeks ago, I urged the Nigerian authorities to sanction a pastor,…

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Africa Leaders 

Mubarak Bala: Facebook Posts and Freedom of Expression

Some Muslims have asked the police to prosecute Nigerian Humanist, Mubarak Bala for making some posts on Facebook. They claim that his posts insulted the prophet of Islam. And for that reason, they want Mr. Bala penalized. Others are threatening to execute him. The police have arrested Mr. Bala and may soon charge him. In this piece, I argue that the police should unconditionally release Mr. Bala because what they said he did was not an offense against the state. I am aware that some Muslims are unhappy with the…

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