Samoa Agreement: FG Tackles Daily Trust Over LGBTQ Claim


The Federal Government on Saturday, July 6, 2024 declared that it was ready to take on Daily Trust Newspaper over what it described as falsehood and inciting journalism thus prepared to file a lawsuit against the newspaper.

Daily Trust had reported that the Federal Government signed the Samoa Agreement to promote LGBTQ in the country, a development that made the government to make a vow that it would lodge a formal complaint to the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) as well as use every lawful means to seek redress in the court of law against the Abuja based media organisation.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Mohammed Idris, who stated the position of the government at a joint media briefing with the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, on the agreement which the Nigeria signed on June 28, 2024 at the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) secretariat in Brussels, Belgium, noted that insidious and inciting publications by the Daily Trust in recent months had come across as nothing but a deliberate effort to brush the government with a tar.

Mohammed further said that even though on many occasions, government had restrained itself from believing that this was the case, but the consistency of the mischievous publications left it with no option.

He pointedly accused Daily Trust of recklessness by falsely accusing the Federal Government of signing the Samoa deal to promote LGBTQ in the country.


The Information Minister said that the Federal Government found the publication despicable and wicked particularly against the fact that there was no nowhere in the document signed where the claim by Daily Trust was found, stressing that surprisingly, the newspaper put forward no evidence nor provided the agreement allegedly signed to prove their point.

The Information Minister further said; “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.

“In the aftermath of the coup in Niger Republic, Daily Trust 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 Daily Trust nor originators of that imaginative allegation provided any shred of evidence.

“Then just two weeks ago, Daily Trust 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,” the minister noted.

Mohammed said that while the Federal Government sometimes view and treat those occasional reporting as part of media’s normal work, it has now seen a pattern that is difficult to be wished away as normal journalism

The Federal Government said it remained very tolerant of media criticism and guaranteed citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, adding however that it was disheartening that some elements were abusing the free environment guaranteed by it.

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