Friday, 05 July 2024 04:41

Editorial: Breaking Nigeria’s anti-LGBTQ law in exchange for foreign money

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The signing of the $150 billion Samoa Agreement by the federal government, which implicitly mandates the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights, is a grave misstep that contravenes the nation's 2014 law prohibiting such acts. While the dire state of Nigeria’s economy undeniably necessitates substantial financial support, it is imperative that this assistance does not come at the expense of the country’s laws and the deeply held cultural values of the Nigerian people.

The Samoa Agreement, named after the Pacific Island where it was signed, requires participating countries to support LGBTQ+ rights in exchange for financial aid and other supports from more advanced nations. This is a blatant challenge to the cultural and religious beliefs prevalent in Nigeria, where both Islamic and Christian teachings strongly oppose same-sex relationships. The government’s attempt to downplay the implications of this agreement by asserting that it only pertains to economic development is misleading and disingenuous.

According to reports, the agreement includes clauses that fundamentally alter Nigeria’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights, making this financial aid conditional on the acceptance and support of these rights. This directly contradicts the assurances given by officials that the deal does not mandate support for LGBTQ+ rights. It is a clear deviation from the spirit of the 2014 law, which was enacted to reflect the moral and cultural values of the Nigerian populace.

Civil society organizations, clerics, and legal experts have rightly expressed their outrage over this development. The signing of the Samoa Agreement undermines Nigeria’s sovereignty and threatens to erode the moral fabric of its society. It is essential for the National Assembly to withhold approval for this agreement and for President Bola Tinubu to repudiate it unequivocally. The government's priority should be to uphold the laws and values of Nigeria, not to succumb to external pressures that compromise the country’s national integrity.

Moreover, the concerns raised about the hasty and uninformed manner in which international agreements are often signed by Nigerian officials must be addressed. There needs to be a thorough review process involving all relevant stakeholders to ensure that such agreements align with national interests and values.

In conclusion, while economic support is crucial, it should never come at the cost of compromising the country’s legal and cultural standards. The Samoa Agreement is a dangerous precedent that must be rescinded. The government should seek alternative means of financial support that do not undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty or the deeply held beliefs of its people. President Tinubu must take a firm stand and ensure that Nigeria’s laws and cultural values are respected and preserved.

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