Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Nigeria Should Unsign The LGBT Agreement, By Sonnie Ekwowusi

It is nauseating that despite several meetings held with Nigerian officials and several briefs and memoranda sent to them, the Nigerian officials proceeded yesterday to sign the dreaded and devious Samoa Agreement. The Samoa Agreement, named after the Pacific Island, Samoa, where it was signed on November 15, 2023 is a celebration of perversity. Certain Articles of the Agreement especially Articles 2.5 and 29.5 legalize LGBT, transgenderism, abortion, teen sexual abuse, and perversity in African countries. The signing of the Agreement by Nigeria constitutes a threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria and Africa. It further debases our democracy. Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, disclosed yesterday at a reception organized by the European Union in Enugu that Nigeria has signed the Samoa Agreement.

I can wager that neither Minister Atiku Bagudu nor the Nigerian officials or diplomats who signed the Samoa Agreement on our behalf understand the import of the Agreement to Nigeria’s sovereignty, let alone the destructive impact of the Agreement in Nigeria. This explains why many African bodies including the African Bar Association (AfBA) has condemned the Agreement and respectfully urged African countries not to sign it.

Not infrequently, Nigerian officials in Geneva, New York, and other places sign international agreements or treaties over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with little or no knowledge of their contents. The pertinent questions are: Why did Nigeria sign the Samoa Agreement when LGBT, abortion, and transgenderism, as well as teen sexual abuse, are illegal in Nigeria? Were the Nigerian officials who signed the offensive Samoa Agreement representing their own interests or the interests of the Nigerian people? Having refused to sign the Agreement earlier, why did Nigeria change its mind and proceed to sign the Agreement?

You will recall that on November 15, 2023, Nigeria, to the bewilderment of the EU, refused to sign the offensive Samoa Agreement. Apart from Nigeria, 34 other ACP countries, including the Republic of Benin, Senegal, Liberia, Botswana, Burundi, Jamaica, Mali, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Namibia, Grenada, Eritrea, Malawi, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Maldives, Mauritania, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Palau, Saint Lucia, the Republic of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and Tuvalu, also refused to sign the LGBT Agreement.

In fact, on that fateful November 15, 2023, Nigeria not only refused to sign the LGBT Agreement but was conspicuously absent in Samoa on the day of the signing. Frustrated by the refusal of these 35 countries to sign the Agreement, the European Union issued a significant threat dated November 24, 2023. According to the threat, which was issued in Brussels, any African, Caribbean, or Pacific country failing to sign the LGBT Agreement by January 1, 2024, when the Agreement is scheduled to come into force, will face dire consequences. These consequences include the denial of EU funding, development assistance, and program implementation. Furthermore, the threat specifies that such countries will be treated as pariah nations and may be subject to economic sanctions. They would also be barred from participating in EU-Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) meetings and activities.

Since the issuance of this threat, the EU has been applying increasing pressure on Nigerian ministers and African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) ministers to persuade ACP heads of government to sign the contentious LGBT Agreement. Several meetings convened for this purpose ended in deadlock as many ACP countries refused to sign the Agreement. Surprisingly, towards the end of October 2023, news emerged that the EU had scheduled November 15, 2023, for the signing of the Agreement in Samoa, a small island country in the central South Pacific Ocean composed of an archipelago of nine islands, four of which are inhabited.

The initial refusal of Nigeria and 34 other African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries to be coerced into signing the LGBT Agreement was hailed as praiseworthy. Unfortunately, Nigeria has now gone ahead to sign the offensive Agreement. Why did Nigeria succumb to the EU’s pressure, intimidation, and coercion and proceed to sign the LGBT Agreement? Why didn’t Nigeria call the EU’s bluff and resist their intimidation, coercion, and threats? Why didn’t the Nigerian officials who signed the Agreement consult the Nigerian people before signing? I am sure that dollars exchanged hands before the Nigerian officials signed. But why? Why betray your country and compromise principles for money?

Anyway, the signing of the Samoa Agreement is completely unacceptable. Nigeria must undo the damage: Nigeria should immediately proceed to withdraw from the LGBT Agreement. The National Assembly must invite the Nigerian officials who signed the Agreement to explain why they did so. Africans must understand that the fate of Africa lies in the hands of Africans. Only Africans can truly and really develop Africa, not foreigners. It is evident that the EU’s LGBT agenda in Africa is another form of population control. The paradox lies in the fact that the West, intent on reducing human capital in Africa, is now confronted with a serious demographic disaster. Despite wresting political independence from their erstwhile colonial masters, the economic systems and political policies of most African countries, infatuated with foreign aid, are still tied to the apron strings of the World Bank and powerful European and multinational organizations.

Therefore, Nigeria should withdraw her signature from the offensive Samoa Agreement. If most African countries, including South Africa, have refrained from signing the Samoa Agreement, why should Nigeria, the big brother of other African countries, which is supposed to lead by example, compromise her earlier stance and proceed to sign the controversial LGBT Agreement? The truth remains that when democracies lose their constituting philosophical and legal principles—when wrongs are described as “rights,” and the tools of law are deployed to do and justify evil—democracies metamorphose into LGBT totalitarianism.

Therefore, we must work to uphold our democracy. The surest way to be ruined by democracy is to take it for granted. If Nigerian democracy must yield the so-called democratic dividend, then it must reflect the will of the Nigerian people. After all, democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In our Presidential democracy, power belongs to the people. Our elected representatives must govern according to the wishes of the people. The ongoing revolution in Kenya results from the refusal of Kenyan political office holders to govern according to the will of the Kenyan people. The same thing, sadly, is happening in Nigeria. Our political office holders have refused to govern according to the will of the Nigerian people.

We can no longer take Nigerian democracy for granted. We must envision a democracy that guarantees personal liberty. Personal liberty is more than the absence of imprisonment or deliverance from despotic rulers. Personal liberty concerns shared beliefs, shared values, and liberating principles. If there are no liberating principles to guide political activity, then political ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated or corrupted for reasons of power.

Ekwowusi is the Chairman, Human & Constitutional Rights Committee, African Bar Association

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