A man who fled from persecution in Africa is today detailing his family’s experiences  while seeking asylum in Wales.

Godwin Akinyele and his wife Victoria, now living in Caia Park, Wrexham, moved to the UK from Nigeria in 2016.

They were being persecuted after they refused to subject their daughters to female genital mutilation.

His pregnant wife and eldest daughter moved to the UK in April of that year and Mr Akinyele arrived in October.

Mrs Akinyele and her daughter were provided with emergency accommodation, but because it was women-only hostel Mr Akinyele was forced to sleep in strangers’ houses or on the streets.

“I once imagined that death was friendlier than destitution,” he said. “The worst part was how my wife was coping with the two kids and pregnancy.

“She would need to prepare the three-year-old for school and the younger one for her playgroup before my arrival in the morning from wherever and God-knows-where I was waking from.

“It was such a bitter experience for me that I began to see myself as a person fleeing snakes from Nigeria, only to find myself taking refuge in a lions’ den.”

Mr Akinyele, who is in his late 30s and who has a law degree and a diploma in civil law, has lived in Wrexham for 15 months but is still waiting for a decision on his asylum claim.

The family have recently welcomed another child into the fold.

He will be be among several asylum seekers and refugees to tell their stories at Sanctuary in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay today.

Event organiser the Welsh Refugee Coalition believes no-one seeking sanctuary should be left at risk of homelessness and destitution in Wales.

Supporters of the Coalition  also advocate that refugees and asylum seekers have a wealth of skills and experience to contribute to Welsh society and that with time and co-operation Wales could become the world’s first Nation of Sanctuary.

Rocio Cifuentes, who chairs the Welsh Refugee Coalition, said: “The stories shared by brave and inspiring individuals at the Senedd today show that arrival here in Wales is the start of another journey.

“This journey can be made much easier through effective support services and a hand of friendship by local communities.

“Immigration policy is not within the gift of the Welsh Government but we need our political representatives here in Wales to show leadership and to use their voices to advocate for positive change at a UK level.

“As a Coalition, we’re pleased to be working more closely with Welsh Government and we welcome their commitment to exploring the introduction of new measures specifically aimed at tackling destitution in Wales.

“We’d like to see Welsh Government strengthen the services available to people seeking asylum and refugees to meet demand, thereby making a significant difference to the outcomes of their journeys in Wales.”