FG Affirms Same-Sex Marriage Law Supersedes Samoa Agreement

The Federal Government has clarified its stance on the recently signed Samoa Agreement, asserting that Nigeria’s law on same-sex marriage supersedes any clauses within the agreement that might be perceived as contrary to national legislation.

The Samoa Agreement, named after the Pacific Island where it was signed, has reportedly included clauses that pressure underdeveloped and developing nations to support the recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights in exchange for financial aid and other support from developed nations. 

This has sparked controversy in many countries, particularly those with strong Islamic and Christian values and culturally sensitive perspectives.

On Thursday night, the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, addressed the growing concerns and provided further details on the agreement.

“On 28 June 2024, Nigeria signed the Samoa Agreement at the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium,” Idris stated. “The partnership agreement is between the EU and its Member States, and the members of the OACPS.”

Idris explained that negotiations for the agreement began in 2018 during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly and that it was officially signed in Apia, Samoa, on November 15, 2018, by all 27 EU Member States and 47 of the 79 OACPS Member States. 

He explained that the  agreement comprises 103 articles divided into a common foundational compact and three regional protocols: Africa-EU, Caribbean-EU, and Pacific-EU, each addressing the specific issues of their regions.

He added that for Africa, the protocol includes frameworks for cooperation and covers areas such as inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, human and social development, environmental management, climate change, peace and security, human rights, democracy and governance, and migration and mobility.

Idris reiterated  that Nigeria’s signing of the agreement on June 28, 2024, followed extensive reviews and consultations by an Interministerial Committee. 

This committee was convened by the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Justice. 

“It was ensured that none of the 103 articles and provisions of the agreement contravenes the 1999 Constitution as amended or laws of Nigeria, and other extant laws,” he said.

Additionally, Nigeria’s endorsement was accompanied by a Statement of Declaration, dated June 26, 2024, which clarified that any provision inconsistent with Nigerian laws would be considered invalid.

 Idris reiterated that Nigeria has had legislation against same-sex relationships since 2014 and that the current administration, led by President Bola Tinubu, would not enter into any international agreement detrimental to the country’s interests.

“The Samoa Agreement is a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union, aiming to promote sustainable development, combat climate change, generate investment opportunities, and foster international collaboration among OACPS Member States,” Idris concluded.


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