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LGBT: Nigeria confirms signing Samoa agreement but says, ‘It’s strictly for economic development’

*Denies LGBT provision in document


The Federal Government of Nigeria has described the recently signed Samoa agreement as one that is strictly for the economic development of the country, as against the widespread claims that it contains provisions for same-sex marriage.

Speaking in defence of the agreement, Senator Atiku Bagudu, the country’s Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, said there is nowhere in the document where same-sex marriage is mentioned.

“The documents signed by the Federal Government were strictly for the economic development of Nigeria; nowhere in the documents were LGBT or same-sex marriage mentioned even remotely, and it would be wrong for anyone to imply that Nigeria had accepted those tendencies. What Bagudu signed was about a $150 billion trade component,” Bolaji Adebiyi, Bagudu’s spokesperson, said.

About Samoa

Samoa agreement, according to the European Council, is the overarching framework for European Union (EU) relations with African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries.

The agreement serves as a new legal framework for EU relations with 79 countries, including African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries.

The agreement covers six priority areas, which are democracy and human rights; sustainable economic growth and development; climate change; human and social development; peace and security; and migration and mobility.

The agreement was officially signed on November 15, 2023, by the EU and its member states and Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) members in Samoa, a country in Oceania.

Nigeria did not sign the agreement initially, as the Federal Government said it was still studying the pact.

The new agreement replaces the Cotonou agreement, which was signed in 2000.

On Thursday, a report claimed that some clauses of the agreement allegedly compel underdeveloped and developing nations to support the agitations by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people for recognition.

The report elicited mixed reactions, as some Nigerians criticised the Federal Government for signing the agreement.

‘Samoa agreement didn’t breach Nigerian Law’

Earlier on Thursday, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, clarified that the Federal Government ensured that the agreement did not contravene the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and other extant laws.

He said there is an existing law in Nigeria that criminalises same-sex relationships.

“Nigeria signed the agreement on Friday 28 June 2024,” the minister said.

“It was ensured that none of the 103 articles and provisions of the agreement contravenes the 1999 Constitution as amended, the laws of Nigeria, or other extant laws.

“In addition, Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a statement of declaration dated 26th June 2024, clarifying its understanding and context of the agreement within its jurisdiction to the effect that any provision that is inconsistent with the laws of Nigeria shall be invalid.

“It is instructive to note that there is an existing legislation against same-sex relationships in Nigeria enacted in 2014.

“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that the President Bola Tinubu Administration, being a rule-based government, will not enter into any international agreement that will be detrimental to the interests of the country and its citizens.

“The Samoa Agreement is nothing but a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union to promote sustainable development, fight climate change and its effects, generate investment opportunities, and foster collaboration among OACPS member states at the international stage.”

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