LGBTQ: Public Outcry As Tinubu Govt Signs $150 Billion Samoa Deal

LGBTQ: Public Outcry As Tinubu Govt Signs $150 Billion Samoa Deal
  • PublishedJuly 4, 2024

The Nigerian government under President Bola Tinubu has decided to sign a $150 billion deal with Samoa, sparking widespread public outcry.

The agreement, reportedly aimed at fostering economic cooperation and development between the two countries, has faced significant backlash due to concerns over LGBT rights and the ethical implications of the deal.

Critics argue that the Nigerian government’s decision is inconsistent with the country’s stance on LGBTQ issues and raises questions about its commitment to human rights.

The deal has drawn ire from various segments of Nigerian society, including human rights activists, religious leaders, and political commentators.

Many have expressed their dismay over the government’s willingness to engage with Samoa, a nation that, according to reports, has a more progressive stance on LGBT rights compared to Nigeria.

Nigeria, where same-sex relationships are illegal and LGBTQ2 individuals face severe discrimination and persecution, seems to be at odds with the principles underlying Samoa’s policies

Some clerics, rights activists, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria are furious following the decision of the federal government to sign the controversial Samoa Agreement.

Named after the Pacific Island Samoa, where it was signed on November 15, 2023, the agreement is gradually gaining traction, despite opposition by many countries that cherish Islamic and Christianity values, in addition to the sensitivity of their cultures.

Information about the ratification of the deal by Nigeria came to public knowledge on Monday, July 1, when the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu confirmed the development at a reception organised by the European Union (EU) in Abuja.

But when Daily Trust contacted Bagudu’s media assistant, Bolaji Adebiyi on Wednesday, he said the documents signed by the federal government, which the Minister of Budget made reference to during the reception by the EU, were strictly for the economic development of Nigeria.

He said nowhere in the documents were LGBTQ or same-sex marriage mentioned even remotely, and emphatically stated that it would be wrong for anyone to imply that Nigeria had accepted those tendencies.

READ: Pride Parade Cancelled As LGBTQ2+ Group Protest For Palestine In Toronto

He insisted that what Bagudu signed was in relation to a $150 billion trade component.

When contacted yesterday to know whether they were aware of recent controversies surrounding the Samoa Agreement, Kamarudeen Ogundele, who is the spokesman of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi SAN, said he had to make some findings.

Recall that a Lagos State-based lawyer and Chairman of the Human and Constitutional Rights Committee, African Bar Association (AfBA), Sonnie Ekwowusi, had raised an alarm on the development on Wednesday, in an article on the matter.

He said that the development was nauseating, occurring despite several meetings held with Nigerian officials, and memoranda sent to them. He questioned the judgement of the Nigerian officials in proceeding to sign the Samoa Agreement.

He said, “The Samoa Agreement, named after the Pacific Island, Samoa, where it was signed on November 15, 2023, is a celebration of perversity. Certain Articles of the Agreement especially Articles 2.5 and 29.5 legalise LGBT, transgenderism, abortion, teen sexual abuse, and perversity in African countries. The signing of the Agreement by Nigeria constitutes a threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria and Africa. It further debases our democracy.

“I can wager that neither Minister Atiku Bagudu nor the Nigerian officials or diplomats who signed the Samoa Agreement on our behalf, understand the import of the agreement to Nigeria’s sovereignty, let alone the destructive impact of the Agreement in Nigeria. This explains why many African bodies including the AfBA have condemned the agreement and respectfully urged African countries not to sign it.

“Not infrequently, Nigerian officials in Geneva, New York, and other places sign international agreements or treaties over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with little or no knowledge of their contents.

“Were the Nigerian officials who signed the offensive Samoa Agreement representing their own interests or the interests of the Nigerian people? Having refused to sign the Agreement earlier, why did Nigeria change its mind and proceed to sign the Agreement?”

He recalled that on November 15, 2023, Nigeria, to the bewilderment of the EU, refused to sign the “offensive” deal.

He also said that apart from Nigeria, 34 other African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, including the Republic of Benin, Senegal, Liberia, Botswana, Burundi, Jamaica, Mali, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Namibia, Grenada, Eritrea, Malawi, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Maldives, Mauritania, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Palau, Saint Lucia, the Republic of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and Tuvalu, also refused to sign the LGBT Agreement.

“In fact, on that fateful November 15, 2023, Nigeria not only refused to sign the LGBT Agreement but was conspicuously absent in Samoa on the day of the signing. Frustrated by the refusal of these 35 countries to sign the Agreement, the European Union issued a significant threat dated November 24, 2023,” he said.

He said that the signing of the Samoa Agreement was completely unacceptable and Nigeria must undo the damage, by immediately withdrawing from the LGBT agreement.

He also urged the National Assembly to invite the Nigerian officials who signed the agreement to explain why they did so.

NSCIA Reacts

When Daily Trust contacted an official of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) on Wednesday night, he said that the council’s stance on same-sex marriage or LGBTQ remained unchanged.

Abubakar Akande, who is the Administrative Secretary of the council, said that though they were invited and attended the meeting in March this year, it was not for them to ratify or oppose the draft shared with them.

He said that the 403-page document containing 104 articles was given to the Legal Director of the NSCIA and that there was no same-sex marriage in the draft.

According to him, “We (NSCIA) would not welcome such agreement. Our stance remains the same since the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. We cannot agree to what is against the injunction of our Creator, Allah, on this matter, and which also disrespects Nigeria’s sovereignty.”

Speaking also, the Ameer (leader), Abuja Muslim Forum (AMF), Alhaji Abdulrazaq Ajani, said that the African civil society organisations (CSOs), which the AMF is a part of, had met top government officials and members of the two chambers of the National Assembly yesterday, especially the chairmen of the relevant committees in the House of Representatives, and also the administrative leadership of the legislators.

He said they rejected the move completely.

National Assembly Reacts

When Daily Trust contacted Rep. Rabiu Yusuf, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements, said that the Samoa Agreement had not been brought before the National Assembly for consideration.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, nothing has happened in the National Assembly regarding the Samoa Agreement.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *