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House of Reps Urges Tinubu’s Government to Suspend Samoa Agreement

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In response to a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by 88 members, the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to halt the implementation of the Samoa Agreement until all contentious clauses are thoroughly examined and clarified. Representative Aliyu Madaki, who presented the motion during today’s plenary session, highlighted concerns about a specific clause on “gender equality,” describing it as a potential “Trojan horse” that could undermine the country’s moral values.

Madaki pointed out that the clause has sparked significant apprehension, with critics suggesting it might implicitly endorse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights, conflicting with Nigeria’s stringent anti-same-sex marriage laws enacted in 2014 under then-President Goodluck Jonathan. Consequently, the House has directed its relevant committees to investigate the controversial provisions to ensure they align with Nigeria’s constitutional, religious, and cultural values.

The Samoa Agreement, a pact between Nigeria and the European Union, aims to enhance food security and promote inclusive economic development, among other key areas. However, its provisions have triggered a wave of online backlash, primarily centered on the perceived inclusion of LGBT rights.

At a press conference on Saturday, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Atiku Bagudu, alongside Minister of Information Mohammed Idris, assured 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), seeks to better equip the parties to address global challenges such as climate change, ocean governance, migration, health, peace, and security. Nigeria signed the agreement on June 28, 2024, but it only came to public attention recently following Minister Bagudu’s disclosure.

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