SAMOA Agreement Had no Provision for LGBT, Gay Rights – NBA

Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has explained that the SAMOA Agreement does not contain any provisions requiring Nigeria to accept or recognize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) rights.

WikkiTimes reports that he Federal Government said it would drag the Daily Trust Newspapers to the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) over its publication on the Samoa agreement.

Maikyau, on Tuesday emphasized that the widespread narrative suggesting otherwise stems either from a misunderstanding of the agreement’s contents or a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. He stressed that neither scenario is beneficial.

In a statement signed by Maikyau and released by the NBA National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Habeeb Lawal, the NBA encouraged the public to critically evaluate media reports and social media posts.

He reiterated the NBA’s commitment to ensuring that government actions are focused on the people’s welfare, and pledged that the NBA will continue to engage with and advise the government to further national interests.

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“My attention was drawn to publications in newspapers and social media platforms, as well as reactions by some Nigerians, regarding the signing of the SAMOA Agreement by the federal government,” Maikyau stated.

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

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“There is no provision in the SAMOA Agreement that requires Nigeria to accept or recognize LGBTQ or gay rights, either as a precondition for a $150 billion loan or at all.

“The agreement is explicitly subject to local laws and the sovereignty of the contracting nations.

“This means that the SAMOA Agreement acknowledges, for instance, Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2023, and of course, the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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“If this were not the case, the NBA would have advised the Federal Government against entering into any partnership or agreement that could undermine our nation’s sovereignty in any way.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the SAMOA Agreement does not compromise our existing legislation nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria.

“The negative narratives surrounding this agreement are being pushed along very sensitive lines of faith, culture, and morality, which underscores the need for caution and proper education,” Maikyau stated.

Maikyau called on the government to continue its public enlightenment efforts and urged other stakeholders to join in countering the negative perceptions being promoted about the agreement.

According to NAN, the SAMOA Agreement is a partnership framework for cooperation between the EU and its member states, and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). The agreement, colloquially called the ‘Samoa Agreement’ because it was signed on the Island of Samoa during the 46th session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, was signed by Nigeria and other OACPS members to address key challenges over the next two decades.

The Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the European Union, Obinna Onowu, signed the agreement on behalf of the Nigerian Government at the OACPS Secretariat in Brussels on June 28, 2024.


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