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Nigeria Faces Backlash Over Samoa Agreement Signed Without Understanding

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Nigeria is facing criticism over the Samoa Agreement, which was signed without a full understanding of its implications. The agreement, signed by Minister Atiku Bagudu and Nigerian officials, has raised concerns about Nigeria’s sovereignty.

The Africa Finance Corporation (AfBA) and other African bodies have condemned the agreement, urging African countries to refrain from signing it. Nigeria and 34 other African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries initially refused to sign the agreement on November 15, 2023.

These countries include Benin, Senegal, Liberia, Botswana, Burundi, Jamaica, Mali, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Namibia, Grenada, Eritrea, Malawi, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Central African Republic, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Guyana, Maldives, Mauritania, Nauru, Palau, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, and Tuvalu.

Nigeria’s refusal to sign the agreement on the original date led to a threat from the EU on November 24, 2023. There are calls for Nigeria to withdraw from the Samoa Agreement and for the officials who signed it to be summoned by the National Assembly.

In response, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) reiterated its position on same-sex marriage and LGBT issues. The NSCIA attended a meeting in March and received a 403-page document with 104 articles but noted that it did not include provisions for same-sex marriage.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan‘s signing of a bill in 2014 that criminalizes same-sex relationships is also referenced in the context of the current situation. The law imposes penalties of up to 14 years in prison and prohibits gay marriage and membership in gay rights groups, despite criticism from the United States.

Rachel Adams

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