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Samoa agreement will not harm Nigerian interests, FG assures

According to reports, the agreement allegedly includes provisions that require developing and underdeveloped countries to support the LGBTQ+ community's demands for recognition as a condition for receiving financial and other forms of assistance from wealthier nations.

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Minister of Information Mohammed Idris has given assurances that President Bola Tinubu will not sign any international agreement that would harm Nigeria’s interests.

The minister issued a press statement on Thursday acknowledging that Nigeria had recently signed the Samoa Agreement, an international pact, at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

Mohammed explained that this partnership agreement establishes a cooperation framework between the European Union and its member states, as well as the member states of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States.

According to reports, the agreement allegedly includes provisions that require developing and underdeveloped countries to support the LGBTQ+ community’s demands for recognition as a condition for receiving financial and other forms of assistance from wealthier nations.

The Samoa Agreement, named after the Pacific Island nation where it was signed, is gaining momentum despite facing opposition from numerous countries that uphold Islamic and Christian values, as well as those with culturally sensitive norms.

In response to the report, the minister said: “Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a statement of declaration, dated 26th June 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 instructive to note that there is an existing legislation against same-sex relationships in Nigeria enacted in 2014.

“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that the Tinubu’s administration, being a rule-based government, will not enter into any international agreement that will be detrimental to the interests 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 minister disclosed that all 27 member states of the European Union and 47 out of the 79 member states of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States signed the agreement on November 15, 2018, in Apia, Samoa, following negotiations that started in 2018 on the fringes of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

He said: “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 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 the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ).

“It was ensured that none of the 103 Articles and Provisions of the Agreement contravened the 1999 Constitution as amended, or laws of Nigeria, and other extant laws.

“The Samoa Agreement is nothing 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.”

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