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Reps ask FG to pause implementation of Samoa agreement

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The House of Representatives has rejected Samoa agreement, asking the Federal Government to immediately pause it’s implementation until all controversial clauses are clearly defined.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep. Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano) and 80 others at the Plenary, on Tuesday that specifically raised concerns about the section promoting “gender equality,” which was characterized as a potential threat to national morality.

The House has also directed its relevant committees to probe the contentious provisions of the agreement.

The Samoa Agreement, signed between the Federal Government and the European Union, has sparked controversy, with many interpreting it as an implicit recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights, conflicting with Nigeria’s 2014 law against same-sex marriages and gay relationships.

Recall that during a press briefing, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, alongside Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, assured that Nigeria would not enter into any agreement that contradicts its constitution or the religious and cultural sensibilities of its people.

Mr Bagudu explained that Nigeria signed the agreement to enhance food security and promote inclusive economic development.

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

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

A review of the agreement revealed that the initial draft contained provisions related to LGBT rights, which were met with reluctance by member states. Consequently, a compromise was reached to commit only to the implementation of existing international agreements on the matter.

The final agreement replaced references to LGBT rights with “gender equality,” as specified in Article 2, clause 5, which states that “the parties shall systematically promote a gender perspective and ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed across all policies.”

The House’s action reflects ongoing concerns about the implications of international agreements on national laws and cultural values, highlighting the need for thorough scrutiny before implementation.

 

 

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