Idris 'Bobrisky' Okuneye
Idris 'Bobrisky' Okuneye, known as "Africa's male Barbie" due to his flamboyant lifestyle, is renowned in Nigeria for his extensive use of social media app SnapChat Youtube

A media adviser to Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has come under fire for allegedly pulling out from a conference due its inclusion of Idris Okuneye, also known as "Africa's first male Barbie".

Bashir Ahmed, Buhari 's personal assistant on new media, announced on Twitter his withdrawal from a conference on the use of social media in the capital Abuja.

Although he did not give any reason for his decision, local media claimed it was due to Okuneye's inclusion in the discussion panel.

It is believed Ahmed announced his withdrawal after a Twitter user "implored the president's aide to withdraw from the conference", Sahara Reporters website claimed.

Ahmed's withdrawal has stirred criticism, amid people claiming it was a reflection of Nigeria' stance on homosexuality, which is illegal in the African nation.

Subomi Plumptre, a member of the Alder Consulting comapany, also withdrew from the conference. The company later released a statement claiming Okuneye's presence at the event would "sensationalise and radicalise" the event, which should "otherwise be a serious discourse on new approaches to media engagement."

The company also claimed Plumptre had not been made aware of Okuneye's inclusion when she accepted to take part in the conference.

Who is Idris 'Bobrisky' Okuneye?

Okuneye is a Nigerian citizen renowned for his widespread use of social media app SnapChat, where he posts content under the name Bobrisky. He is know to many as "Africa's first fale Barbie" due to his flamboyant appearance and use of make-up.

Anti gay-laws in Nigeria

Nigerians involved in a gay marriage or civil union face imprisonment for up to 14 years under the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill signed into law by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

According to the bill, dubbed 'Jail the Gays', anyone who registers, operates or takes part in gay organisations – or makes a public show of a same-sex relationship – will also be punished with up to 10 years in prison.

The implementation of the law prompted a crackdown on homosexuals.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who defeated Jonathan in 2015's election, has not hinted he would amend or scrap anti-gay laws in the country.

Although some people believe Okuneye is gay, he denied the claims in several interviews with Nigerian media.

He defines himself as "a cross dresser", a person who wears items usually worn by people from the opposite sex.

It is believed Bobrisky, who calls himself 'Snapchat King', lives in Lekki, Lagos state.

He once claimed his partner, to whom he refers as "bae", gave him 7 million naira (£18,264; $22,239) to celebrate his birthday in August.

Nigerian blog Ask Naij described him as a man in his mid-thirties accused by some people of "just pretending to be gay and dressing like a woman just to get benefits for his business. He speaks in a charismatic tone and looks very attractive. All these facts make people talk about him.."

Bobrisky, who bleaches his skin and has his own line of skin-bleaching products, told the Pulse website he sells around four cream tubs daily, at the price of N100k (£261; $317) each.

"I don't care about what people think. I am just myself. Bobrisky is himself," he said and added he has at least 90,000 views on Snapchat.

In the interview, Bobrisky reiterated he is not gay, but refused to further comment on his sexual orientation. Earlier this year, he came under fire for puclicly supporting Nigerian anti-gay laws. He later apologised to Nigerian LGBT activist Bisi Alimi over his comments.

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