Nigerian Government Suspends Samoa Agreement Over Controversial Clauses

Nigerian Government Suspends Samoa Agreement Over Controversial Clauses

 

The Nigerian government, under President Bola Tinubu, has immediately suspended the implementation of the Samoa Agreement pending a review of its contentious clauses aimed at promoting sustainable development, combating climate change, and enhancing collaboration.

This decision follows a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by 88 members of the House of Representatives, expressing concerns over the treaty’s contentious provisions.

Critics have raised objections regarding perceived implications for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights within Nigerian law.

Minister of Budget and Planning, Atiku Bagudu, clarified these matters at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

Bagudu recalled that the agreement, known as the Samoa Agreement, was signed at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28.

The partnership involves the European Union, its member-states, and members of OACPS. Negotiations began in 2018, culminating in its signing on November 15, 2018, by all 27 EU member-states and 47 of the 79 OACPS states.

The African Regional Protocol under the agreement comprises two parts: a framework for cooperation and areas including sustainable economic growth, environmental protection, and human rights.

Other areas cover investment opportunities, sustainable development, and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Responding to media reports, Bagudu refuted claims regarding a $150 billion figure mentioned in the agreement and clarified that it does not reference LGBTQ issues or related rights.

During Tuesday’s session, House member Aliyu Madaki highlighted specific clauses, particularly those on “gender equality,” which he described as potentially conflicting with the country’s moral standards.

In response, the House mandated its relevant committees to investigate these provisions, which have sparked controversy since the agreement was signed between the Federal Government and the European Union.

However, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) clarified that the Samoa Agreement does not require Nigeria to recognize same-sex marriage or LGBTQ rights as conditions for accepting any loan, including $150 billion.

The NBA President emphasized that if the agreement had mandated acceptance of LGBT rights, they would have advised against such terms to protect Nigeria’s sovereignty. He reiterated that the Samoa Agreement respects existing legislation and does not undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty.

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