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Reps urge FG to Suspend Samoa Agreement Implementation



The House of Representatives, prompted by a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by 88 members, has called on the Federal Government to halt the implementation of the Samoa Agreement until all contentious clauses are clarified and resolved.

During the session on Tuesday, House member Aliyu Madaki highlighted concerns over a clause on “gender equality,” describing it as a Trojan horse that could undermine the country’s moral values.

The House has directed its relevant committees to investigate the disputed provisions of the agreement.

The Samoa Agreement, signed by the Federal Government with the European Union, has stirred controversy, with many criticizing it for what they perceive as the recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights, contrary to Nigeria’s 2014 law against same-sex marriages and relationships.

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

Bagudu explained that Nigeria signed the agreement to enhance food security and inclusive economic development, among other key areas. The Samoa Agreement, signed in Apia, Samoa, last November by the European Union, its 27 member states, and 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), aims to address emerging global challenges such as climate change, ocean governance, migration, health, and security.

Nigeria signed the agreement on June 28, 2024, though it only became widely known this week following Bagudu’s disclosure.

A Mix-Up?
Upon reviewing the Samoa Agreement after its signing last November, the European Parliament noted that the initial draft included LGBT provisions but mentioned that member states were hesitant to incorporate references to sexual orientation and gender identity. A compromise was reached to adhere only to existing international agreements on these issues.

As a result, LGBT rights were removed from the final agreement and replaced with “gender equality.” Article 2, clause 5 of the final agreement specifies that “the parties shall systematically promote a gender perspective and ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed across all policies.”

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