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FG denies signing $150bn Samoa LGBT deal
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FG denies signing $150bn Samoa LGBT deal

Jul 7, 2024

The Federal Government yesterday dismissed with the wave of the hand speculations that it signed a controversial Samoa LGBT deal to receive a whopping sum of $150 billion from the European Union (EU).

The agreement involving EU, African, Caribbean and Pacific nations,  allegedly has some clauses that compel underdeveloped and developing nations to support the agitations by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community for recognition, as condition for getting financial and other supports from advanced societies.

However, dismissing the allegation at a press conference in Abuja, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, and his counterpart in Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, insisted that there was absolutely nothing in the LGBT agreement that impugned on the constitution and law of the country.

While maintaining that the Federal Government is not even currently negotiating any loan deal with the EU, Bagudu explained that the deal explores areas of corporate agreements like education, food security, culture, sustainable development, human rights, peace, security and rule of law.

The Federal Government will not sign any agreement that will go against the constitution of Nigeria or any rule of law of the land. For emphasis, there is nothing in the LGBT that is insensitive or offensive to any section of Nigerian law.

“The deal we signed is a cooperate agreement on areas of mutual interest in education, food security, culture, peace, security, sustainable development, human right and rule of law. I want to emphasis that there is nowhere it is stated that Nigeria will receive $150 billion or any amount at all. It is just a definition of the areas we want to relate with those countries that signed the agreement,” the Minister clarified.

Similarly, Minister of Information expressed fury against some elements who are abusing the free environment guaranteed by the government for the media to operate through their misrepresention of facts about the deal.

In his remarks, the Minister said: “The Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has maintained an open arm relationship with the media. It is in line with the philosophy of the President as an avowed democrat who spent a lifetime fighting for the entrenchment of democracy and human rights.”

This administration has remained very tolerant of media criticism and guaranteed citizens’ rights to freedom of expression. It is, however, disheartening that some elements are abusing this free environment guaranteed by the government.

We are alarmed by the level of reckless reporting and statements by some media organisations and individuals that border on national security and stability. While we sometimes view and treat those occasional reporting as part of media’s normal work, we have now seen a pattern that is difficult to be wished away as normal journalism.

The insidious and inciting publications by a national daily these past months have come across as nothing, but a deliberate effort to brush the government with a tar. On many occasions we have restrained ourselves from believing that this was the case, but the consistency of the jejune and mischievous publications leaves us with no option.

“In the aftermath of the coup in Niger Republic, the outfit championed a jaundiced narrative that the Federal Government was driving the country into a war and twisted it with regional sentiment to cause disaffection. The same newspaper gave a banner headline to a baseless accusation that the government was working on citing foreign military bases in the country. Neither the medium nor originators of that imaginative allegation provided any shred of evidence.”

Expressing further anger, Idris said: “Then just two weeks ago, the paper concocted and popularised a lie that the Federal Government had renamed the Murtala Mohammed Expressway in Abuja to Wole Soyinka Way. In all those instances all that the paper depended on were falsehood and hearsays. They also showed no remorse or the humility to recant.

We, however, did not envisage that the medium and people behind it could decend to the reckless level of attempting to set the country on fire by falsely accusing the government of signing a deal to promote LGBTQ. We found that despicable and wicked because the allegation is nowhere in the document signed. Surprisingly, the paper put forward no evidence nor provided the agreement allegedly signed to prove their point.

“The baseless and sensational story unfortunately formed a basis for khutba (sermons) by some of our respected imams who were misled by the story thereby raising tempers. On the part of the government, we continue on the honourable path of civility by restraining ourselves from taking self-help or draconian measures. While past governments clamped down on the media for infractions much lower than this, we are, however, toeing the path of civility and the rule of law.”

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