A previously unknown organization — a fact that still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when compared to the questions surrounding the anti-gay crackdown — may have had an undeniable hand in shaping the crackdown.
And according to some close to the investigation, the group in question is as connected to the far-right as it is to extremist LGBTQ groups in Ghana.
In a story published Friday by NBC Washington, investigating journalists Kara Cole and Maria Lindberg met with an attorney for Nigeria’s Christian Association for the Defense of Family (CANF), a nonprofit organization believed to have close ties to Nigeria’s national church, the House of Bishops. The attorney said that CANF has helped drive Ghana’s anti-gay issue and was active in previous campaigns, though he didn’t confirm reports that it led the push.
Cole and Lindberg spoke to many members of Ghana’s large LGBTQ community, who claimed they had heard from CANF in the past on a private, personal basis and identified themselves as members of the organization. Some of those interviewed for the story said they had specifically requested information from the Christian organization.
Although the source of the claims and descriptions did not sound like a coordinated announcement — citing issues with the authenticity of the interviews and skepticism about how such a link could exist — they do corroborate accounts of Ghanaian LGBTs becoming victims of violent attacks and harassment because of fears related to a shadowy group calling itself the “Ghana Aid Movement.”
The Ghana Aid Movement and, according to Cole and Lindberg, the Redeemed Christian Church of God have long been at odds, a relationship highlighted by anger over last year’s mid-air incident that left 45 people dead and two planes stranded over the Northwest African country.
CanF’s leader in Ghana, Rev. Jacob Amajah, did not respond to requests for comment.