Marriage Equality

Nigeria's Parliament Investigates Samoa Agreement Amid Concerns Over Same-Sex Relationships

Main image to the post Nigeria's Parliament Investigates Samoa Agreement Amid Concerns Over Same-Sex Relationships

Nigeria's Parliament Calls for Investigation of Samoa Agreement

The Nigerian parliament has called for an investigation into the Samoa Agreement, a pact signed by the federal government with the European Union. This follows a media report that some clauses in the agreement could promote same-sex relationships.

Nigerian authorities have denied these claims and promised to take action against news organizations reporting them. Lawmakers expressed concern that they were not consulted before the agreement was signed. A majority voted to investigate the agreement, which was named after the Pacific Island nation of Samoa where it was first reached in November.

Critics, such as House of Representatives member Aliyu Madaki, argue that the Samoa Agreement needs to be clearer on clauses that promote gender rights. Madaki believes that the phrase "gender equality" is a "Trojan horse" for introducing "immorality" into the country, as it now includes homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, and animalism.

The Nigerian government signed the Samoa Agreement among the EU and 79 other countries, including African, Caribbean, and Pacific nations, on June 28. The government claims that the agreement aims to strengthen partnerships for democratic norms and human rights, promote economic growth and development, and help member nations tackle common challenges such as climate change, migration, and security.

The government maintains that Nigeria signed the agreement after extensive reviews and consultations. However, the agreement became a topic of national discussion following a report by the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust, which claimed that the clause on gender rights could be misinterpreted to promote same-sex relationships.

The government held a media briefing in Abuja to debunk these claims and promised to sue the newspaper. They also refuted claims that Nigeria will receive $150 billion from signing the deal. Information Minister Mohammed Idris Malagi condemned the "reckless reporting" and statements by some media organizations and individuals, claiming they border on national security and stability.

Nigeria outlawed same-sex relations in 2014 and imposed a 14-year jail term for offenders. The Nigerian Bar Association has backed the government's position after reviewing the agreement. However, the chairperson of the Human Rights Committee at the African Bar Association, Sonnie Ekwokusi, believes that Madaki raises a valid point. He argues that the agreement is "littered with the phrases of the EU and United Nations" and that he understands their language and what they are talking about.

Daily Trust has defended its reporting, stating that it was in the public interest and that it will only apologize if it is proven that the "gender rights" cited in the agreement refer solely to traditional male-female relationships.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09