House of Reps asks Tinubu’s govt to suspend Samoa Agreement

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Following a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by 88 members, the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to suspend the implementation of the Samoa Agreement until all controversial clauses are thoroughly addressed and clarified.

Representative Aliyu Madaki, who moved the motion during today’s plenary, called his colleague’s attention to a particular clause on “gender equality,” describing it as a potential “Trojan horse” that could contravene the country’s moral values.

He said the clause has raised significant concerns, with critics interpreting it as a possible recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights, which conflicts with Nigeria’s strict anti-same-sex marriage laws enacted in 2014 under then-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The House, therefore, tasked its relevant committees to investigate the controversial provisions of the agreement to ensure they align with Nigeria’s constitutional, religious, and cultural values.

The Samoa Agreement, signed between Nigeria and the European Union, aims to enhance food security and foster inclusive economic development among other critical areas.

However, its provisions have sparked a wave of online backlash, primarily focused on the perceived inclusion of LGBT rights.

At a press conference on Saturday, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, alongside the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, reassured the public that Nigeria would not enter into any agreement that contradicts the constitution or the cultural and religious sensibilities of its diverse population.

The Samoa Agreement, signed last November by the European Union, its 27 member states, and 79 member states of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), aims to equip the parties better to address global challenges such as climate change, ocean governance, migration, health, peace, and security.

Nigeria signed the agreement on June 28, 2024, although it only came to public attention recently following Minister Bagudu’s disclosure.

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