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Samoa Agreement: FG clarifies on same sex marriage

“The agreement has 103 articles comprising a common foundational compact and three regional protocols, namely: Africa –EU; Caribbean-EU...

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Samoa Agreement: FG clarifies on same sex marriage

The Federal Government on Thursday assured Nigerians that it will not enter into any international agreement that will be detrimental to the interest of the country and its citizens.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made this known in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja.

Idris’ statement was sequel to the controversy that has trailed the recent signing of Samoa Agreement by the federal government.

Explaining the agreement, the minister said: “On 28 June 2024, Nigeria signed the Samoa Agreement at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

The partnership agreement is between the EU and its member states, on one hand, and the members of the OACPS on the other.

“Negotiations on the agreement started in 2018, on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

“It was signed in Apia, Samoa on the 15 of November 2018 by all 27 EU member states and 47 of the 79 OACPS member states.”

“The agreement has 103 articles comprising a common foundational compact and three regional protocols, namely: Africa –EU; Caribbean-EU, and Pacific-EU Regional Protocols with each regional protocol addressing the peculiar issues of the regions.

“The African Regional Protocol consists of two parts. The first is the Framework for Cooperation.

“The second deals with Areas of Cooperation, containing Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth and Development; Human and Social Development; Environment, Natural Resources Management, and Climate Change; Peace and Security; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance; and Migration and Mobility.

READ ALSO: FG asserts supremacy of same-sex marriage law over Samoa Agreement

“Nigeria signed the Agreement on Friday 28 June 2024,” Idris said.

The minister stressed that the agreement was signed after extensive reviews and consultations by the Interministerial Committee, convened by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Federal Ministry of Justice.

He said the government, in signing the agreement, ensured that none of the 103 articles and provisions of the agreement contravened the 1999 Constitution as amended or laws of Nigeria, and other extant laws.

“In addition, Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a Statement of Declaration, dated 26th June 2024, clarifying its understanding and context of the Agreement within its jurisdiction.

“This is to the effect that any provision that is inconsistent with the laws of Nigeria shall be invalid.

“It is instructive to note that there is an existing legislation against same sex relationship in Nigeria enacted in 2014.

“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that the President Bola Tinubu 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.

“In negotiating the agreement, our officials strictly followed the mandates exchanged in 2018 between the EU and the OACPS for the process.”

Idris reiterated that Samoa Agreement is nothing but a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union

He said the agreement was signed to promote sustainable development, fight climate change and its effects, generate investment opportunities, and foster collaboration among OACPS member states at the international stage.

Proofreading, editing by Uji A. ILIYASU, Editor at Neptune Prime

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