Samoa: FG Defends Agreement, Without Denying Cause Of Outrage

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President Bola Tinubu led Federal Government of Nigeria has defended its decision to sign the SAMOA Agreement on human rights, insisting that the decision is in the interest of Nigeria. This is done without denying the cause of public outrage concerning the content of the agreement.

Many had taken to social media to berate the government for signing the agreement, which according to them, provides for the legalisation of same sex unions in the country.

The agreement, which will allow Nigeria to benefit from $150bn fund, is said to have some clauses that compel underdeveloped and developing countries to support the agitations by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community for recognition, as part of conditions for getting financial and other supports from developed nations.

But the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who clarified the position of the federation government in a statement in Abuja, said: ”On June 28, 2024, Nigeria signed the Samoa Agreement at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States, OACPS, secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

”The partnership agreement is between the EU and its member states on one hand, and the members of the OACPS on the other.

“Negotiations on the agreement started in 2018, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. It was signed in Apia, Samoa, on November 15, 2018, by all 27 EU member states and 47 of the 79 OACPS member states.

”The agreement has 103 articles, comprising a common foundational compact and three regional protocols, namely Africa –EU; Caribbean-EU, and Pacific-EU regional protocols, with each regional protocol addressing the peculiar issues of the regions.

“The African regional protocol consists of two parts. The first is the framework for cooperation, while the second deals with areas of cooperation, containing inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development; human and social development; environment, natural resources management, and climate change; peace and security; human rights, democracy and governance; and migration and mobility.

“Nigeria signed the agreement on Friday, June 28, 2024. This was done after the extensive reviews and consultations by the interministerial committee, convened by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, FMBEP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MFA, and Federal Ministry of Justice, FMOJ, confirmed that none of the 103 Articles and Provisions of the Agreement contravenes the 1999 Constitution as amended or laws of Nigeria.“

“In addition, Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a Statement of Declaration, dated June 26, 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 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 interest of the country and its citizens.

“In negotiating the agreement, our officials strictly followed the mandates exchanged in 2018 between the EU and the OACPS for the process.

“The Samoa Agreement is nothing else, 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.

“It is noteworthy that only five of the 79 OACPS member states, including Equatorial Guinea (Africa); Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean); Nauru; and Tuvalu (Pacific) are yet to sign the Agreement. All the 27 EU member states signed on November 15, 2023.”

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