The Nigerian House of Representatives, following a motion sponsored by 88 members, has urged the Federal Government to halt the implementation of the Samoa Agreement until all contentious clauses are clearly addressed.

Aliyu Madaki, a member of the House, moved the motion on Tuesday, expressing concerns over a clause emphasizing “gender equality,” which he described as a potential threat to the country’s moral values.

The House also instructed its relevant committees to investigate the disputed provisions within the agreement. The Samoa Agreement, signed by the Nigerian government and the European Union, has sparked controversy, particularly over perceived recognition of LGBT rights.

This has led to significant backlash online, with many Nigerians opposing LGBT rights, citing the country’s anti-same-sex marriage law enacted in 2014 under President Goodluck Jonathan.

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During a press conference on Saturday, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, and Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, assured that Nigeria would not enter into any agreement that contradicts the constitution or the religious and cultural beliefs of its diverse population.

Bagudu emphasized that Nigeria’s intention in signing the agreement was to enhance food security and foster inclusive economic development, among other critical areas.

The Samoa Agreement, signed last November by the European Union, its 27 member states, and 79 member states of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), is aimed at addressing emerging global challenges such as climate change, ocean governance, migration, health, peace, and security.

Although Nigeria signed the agreement on June 28, 2024, it only came to public attention recently following a disclosure by Bagudu.

Upon reviewing the Samoa Agreement, the European Parliament noted that the initial draft included an LGBT provision but mentioned that member states were hesitant to include references to sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBTI rights). Ultimately, parties agreed to commit only to the implementation of existing international agreements regarding these issues.

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