Presidency reassures Nigerians on Samoa Agreement, denies LGBTQ+ rights concerns

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga has addressed ongoing controversy surrounding the Samoa Agreement.

The statement issued on Tuesday, aims to dispel concerns that the agreement infringes on Nigerian sovereignty or LGBTQ+ rights.

Combating Misinformation:

Onanuga emphasized that the “narrative” around the agreement stems from either “ignorance of the content” or “a deliberate intention to mislead the public.” He assured Nigerians that the agreement contains no provisions requiring acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights, either as a loan condition or otherwise.

Respect for Sovereignty:

Crucially, Onanuga highlights that the agreement explicitly respects the “local laws and the sovereignty of the contracting Nations.” This signifies that the agreement recognizes existing Nigerian legislation, including the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2023 and the supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution.

Role of Legal Counsel:

The statement underscores the role of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in advising the government on agreements with potential sovereignty concerns. Since the NBA hasn’t raised objections, it implies their confidence in the Samoa Agreement’s alignment with Nigerian law.

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Reaffirming National Identity:

Onanuga concludes by reiterating that the agreement doesn’t compromise existing legislation or undermine Nigerian sovereignty. This reassurance aims to address anxieties about external influence on national identity.

The statement reads, “Contrary to the narrative being propagated either due to ignorance of the content of the agreement or, a deliberate intention to mislead the public (neither of which is good), I wish to state that there is no provision in the SAMOA agreement which requires Nigeria to accept or in anyway recognise LGBTQ or gay rights, either as a pre-condition for a loan of $150 Billion USD or at all.

“Instead, the agreement was expressly made subject to the local laws and the sovereignty of the contracting Nations. That is to say, the SAMOA agreement recognises, for instance, Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2023 and of course, the Supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“If this were not the case, the NBA would have since advised the Federal Government not to enter or engage in any form of partnership or agreement that has the ability to undermine the sovereignty of our nation in anyway.

“For avoidance of any doubt, the SAMOA agreement does not, in any way, seek to compromise our existing legislations nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria.”

Onanuga’s statement might not entirely quell the controversy. Opponents of the agreement could continue to scrutinize its details or question the government’s interpretation.

The post Presidency reassures Nigerians on Samoa Agreement, denies LGBTQ+ rights concerns appeared first on Latest Nigeria News | Top Stories from Ripples Nigeria.

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