House of Representatives Calls for Suspension of SAMOA Agreement

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By Femi Ogunshola

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Abuja, July 9, 2024 (NAN) – The House of Representatives has proposed the suspension of the SAMOA agreement recently signed by the Federal Government, citing concerns over clauses perceived to be controversial.

The resolution came after the adoption of a motion presented by Deputy Minority Leader Aliyu Madaki and supported by 88 other lawmakers during Tuesday’s plenary session.

Madaki argued that certain clauses within the agreement included provisions that conflicted with existing Nigerian laws, particularly regarding the rights of gays and lesbians as conditions for benefiting from the agreement.

“The agreement promotes rights that are contrary to our current laws. Therefore, the Federal Government should suspend its implementation pending a thorough investigation into the terms of the pact,” Madaki asserted.

Minority Leader Rep. Kingsley Chinda urged caution, emphasizing the need for an investigative approach rather than premature judgment on the agreement’s content, which he noted was not fully disclosed.

Supporting the motion, Chief Whip Rep. Usman Kumo echoed the call for suspension until the House completes its investigation into the matter.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported widespread public interest in the SAMOA agreement, with concerns raised in various media about its potential implications for Nigerian cultural and moral values.

During the debate, emotions ran high among lawmakers, with heated exchanges reflecting the sensitivity and significance attached to the agreement.

Ministers Mohammed Idris (Information) and Atiku Bagudu (Budget and Planning) addressed the press on Saturday, refuting media claims that the agreement would compromise Nigeria’s moral values or enforce provisions related to same-sex rights.

They clarified that the agreement respected Nigerian laws, including the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2023 and upheld Nigeria’s sovereignty.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, also defended the agreement, stating that it served Nigeria’s interests and did not include any provisions contradicting national laws.

In his ruling on the motion, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Benjamin Kalu, presiding over the plenary, directed the suspension of the SAMOA agreement pending further investigation by the House.

The SAMOA Agreement, named after Samoa where it was signed, is a comprehensive framework between the European Union (EU) member states and over half of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). It covers six main areas: democracy and human rights, sustainable economic growth and development, climate change, human and social development, peace and security, and migration and mobility.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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