Our Law on Same-Sex Marriage Prevails Over Samoa Agreement – FG

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Our Law on Same-Sex Marriage Prevails Over Samoa Agreement – FG

President Bola Tinubu

The Federal Government has clarified its stance on the Samoa Agreement, affirming that Nigeria’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage takes precedence over any clauses within the agreement.

 

The Samoa Agreement includes provisions that could pressure underdeveloped and developing nations to support LGBT rights in exchange for financial and other forms of support from developed countries. Signed on the Pacific Island of Samoa, the agreement has faced resistance from countries upholding Islamic and Christian values and cultural sensitivities.

 

This issue has sparked controversy, with criticism from clerics and human rights activists directed at the government for signing the agreement.

 

In a statement on Thursday night, Minister of Information Mohammed Idris provided further clarification. He stated that Nigeria signed the Samoa Agreement on June 28, 2024, at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. This partnership involves the EU and its Member States on one side, and the members of the OACPS on the other.

 

Negotiations for the agreement began in 2018 during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. It was initially signed in Apia, Samoa, on November 15, 2018, by all 27 EU Member States and 47 of the 79 OACPS Member States. The agreement consists of 103 articles, including a common foundational compact and three regional protocols addressing issues specific to Africa-EU, Caribbean-EU, and Pacific-EU relations.

 

The African Regional Protocol, which Nigeria is part of, covers cooperation frameworks and various areas such as inclusive and sustainable economic growth, human and social development, environmental management, peace and security, human rights, democracy, governance, and migration.

 

Nigeria’s signing of the agreement on June 28, 2024, followed extensive reviews and consultations by an Interministerial Committee comprising the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning (FMBEP), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and the Federal Ministry of Justice (FMOJ). They ensured that none of the 103 articles and provisions of the agreement contravened the 1999 Constitution (as amended) or any other Nigerian laws.

 

Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a Statement of Declaration dated June 26, 2024, asserting that any provision inconsistent with Nigerian law would be invalid. It was emphasized that Nigeria’s legislation against same-sex relationships, enacted in 2014, remains in force.

 

Minister Idris assured Nigerians that President Bola Tinubu’s administration, which is rule-based, will not enter into any international agreement detrimental to the country’s interests or its citizens. He emphasized that Nigerian officials adhered strictly to the mandates exchanged in 2018 between the EU and the OACPS during the negotiation process.

 

The Samoa Agreement, he explained, is a crucial legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union, aimed at promoting sustainable development, combating climate change, creating investment opportunities, and fostering international collaboration among OACPS member states.


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