Reps, NBA Differ On Samoa Agreement

House of Representatives has asked the federal government to suspend the implementation of the Samoa Agreement pending the conclusion of an investigation into the pact and until all controversial clauses are clearly defined to ensure they do not violate any law in Nigeria.

The House mandated that its relevant committees to investigate the agreement and report to it within four weeks for further legislative action.

In his reaction to the controversy trailing the government’s signing of the agreement, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), said there was no provision in the Samoa agreement that required Nigeria to accept or recognise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBTQ) rights.

Maikyau said the narrative being propagated was either based on ignorance of the agreement’s contents or on a deliberate intention to mislead the public, “neither of which is good.”

But the House, which acted on a motion of urgent public importance moved by the deputy minority leader, Hon. Aliyu Madaki, and 87 others at plenary yesterday, said, “The signing of such an agreement with the clauses above, if true, violates our sovereignty and is a clear contravention of the 1999 constitution as amended. The Federal Government may have signed the agreement without exhaustive consultations and consideration for possible long-term consequences.”

The Samoa Agreement is the overarching legal framework for the European Union’s relations with 79 countries which includes 48 African, 16 Caribbean, and 15 Pacific countries.

A Nigerian daily ran a story that claimed the agreement contained a clause to legalise same-sex relationships in Nigeria.

In the motion, Madaki said that on June 28, 2024, the federal government signed the Samoa Agreement with the European Union (EU) to boost food security and inclusive economic development, among other vital areas.

He, however, expressed concerns that the agreement allegedly has some clauses that compel underdeveloped and developing nations to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community as a condition for getting financial and other support from advanced societies.

The lawmaker decried Article 97 of the agreement, which states that. “no treaty, convention, agreement or arrangement of any kind between one or more member states of EU and one or more OACPS members shall impede the implementation of this agreement” is supremacy Clause and thus violates Nigeria’s sovereignty.

“Article 25 states that parties shall systematically promote a gender perspective and ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed across all countries. The phrase gender equality, as reported, is a Trojan horse for deceptively bringing in all sorts of immorality to our country as gender no longer means two sexes, male and female, as traditionally understood; it now includes homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism and animalism.

However, in a statement signed by Maikyau in Lagos by NBA national publicity secretary Mr Habeeb Lawal, the NBA urged the public to always query newspaper and social media posts.

He said the NBA remained committed to ensuring that the government’s actions are people-focused, adding that the NBA will continue to engage with and advise the government to advance the nation’s cause.

“My attention was drawn to publications in newspapers and social media platforms, to reactions by some Nigerians, to the signing of the Samoa agreement by the federal government.

“Contrary to the narrative being propagated either due to ignorance of the content of the agreement or a deliberate intention to mislead the public, I wish to state:

“There is no provision in the agreement that requires Nigeria to accept or in any way recognise LGBTQ or gay rights, either as a precondition for a loan of $150 billion 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 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.

“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 can undermine the sovereignty of our nation in any way

“To avoid any doubts, the SAMOA agreement does not, in any way, seek to compromise our existing legislations nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria.

“The negative narratives on this agreement are being pushed and propagated along very sensitive lines of our faith, culture and morality, thus, the need for caution and proper education,” he said.

Maikyau, therefore, called on the government to continue with the public enlightenment already being undertaken.

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