Samoa agreement had nothing on gay rights, $150 bn deal – FG

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The Federal Government has dismissed a newspaper report claiming that the Samoa partnership agreement signed June 28 has endorsed the rights of Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer(LGBTQ), people in Nigeria.

It also rejected the claims that Nigeria would receive 150 billion for entering into the deal.

Mr Atiku Bagudu, Minister of Budget and planning, made the clarification at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the minister, along with his information and national orientation counterpart Mohammed Idris, had called the conference to react to a report by the Daily Trust Newspapers.

National growth LS

NAN also reports that in the report, the medium claimed that the Federal Government signed an agreement with clauses requiring Nigeria to endorse the rights of LGBTQ people.

It further said that the populous African nation would pocket 150 billion dollars for endorsing the deal.

The report has sparked off social, religious and cultural tension with the allegations becoming the topics for most sermons in Mosques and Churches.

The minister recalled that the agreement, generally referred to as the Samoa agreement, was signed at the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States(OACPS), Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28.

Details of the agreement indicated that the partnership is between the European Union and its member-states on one hand, and members of OACPCS on the other.

Negotiations on the agreement began in 2018 and it was signed on Nov. 15, 2018 by all 27 EU member-states and 47 of the 79 OACPS states.

The African Regional Protocol on the deal consists of two parts – framework for cooperation, and areas of cooperation that include sustainable economic growth, environment and human rights protection, among others.

Reacting to the medium’s report on the matter, Bagudu said that there was no iota of truth in it.

He said that there was nowhere in the document where 150 billion dollars was mentioned.

He also said that the agreement made no reference to LGBTQ or the rights of people involved in such activities.

He declared that President Bola Tinubu was a proud Nigerian and would never sign any document that could hurt its laws and constitution.

He said that the agreement was seeking to foster cooperation between EU’s 27 members and OACPC with 79 nations.

“The partnership is about trade agreements, human rights and environmental promotion,” he enthused.

He said Nigeria signed after extensive reviews and consultations by the interministerial committee convened by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of justice.

He said Nigeria had made it clear that any provision that is inconsistent with the laws of Nigeria shall be null and void, and that is, thus, what government has to say on the issue of same-sex marriage.

“There is an existing law against that since 2014.

“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that Tinubu’s 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,” he said.

He pointed out that Nigera had entered into many other agreements most of which had benefited the country in the areas of water, sanitation, education, agriculture, among others.

According to him, the Samoa agreement is focused on economic development, security, environment, migration, mobility and climate change.

Other areas included investment opportunities, sustainable development and mutually beneficial cooperations, among others.

He said that no article supported rights of LGBTQ, declaring that everything signed was in tandem with Nigera’s laws.

“President Tinubu is non-apologetic about his respects for our diversities and wouldn’t want to do anything that will hurt anyone.

“President Tinubu did not authorise any agreement that can undermine our constitution or laws.

“We did not sign anything that has a clause that challenges our laws.

“We are always conscious of our sovereignty; we respect our two religions,” he declared.

He urged the media to be truthful and patriotic in the handling of reports so as to protect national interest.

Bagudu reminded the media that development partners were also sensitive to media reports.

“Let us not ridicule ourselves and scare international investors. Nigerians should be allowed to know the truth,” he said.

He reminded the media that there were hardworking Nigerians helping the nation to secure foreign investments, support and cooperation.

“We should not undermine their efforts and discourage them from putting in their best for the nation,” he said. (NAN) 

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