SPONSOR AD

We acknowledge our lapses in reporting of Samoa Agreement - Daily Trust

daily_trust

Daily Trust

By Oluokun Ayorinde/Abuja

Abuja based Daily Trust newspaper has reacted to protests by the Nigerian government over its report that the signing of Samoa Agreement with the European Union countries implied that the country will promote LGBTQ at home.

Nigeria was among Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States(OACPS) that signed the agreement with the EU in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28.

However, Daily Trust in a report last week said the agreement required Nigeria to endorse the rights of LGBTQ people in return for for a 150 billion dollars loan.

The report by the newspaper led to social, religious and cultural tension with the allegations becoming the topics for most sermons in Mosques and Churches.

However, fact-checking by other media organisations and columnists revealed that there was no such clauses in the agreement.

At a press conference on Saturday, Atiku Bagudu, Minister of Budget and planning and his information and national orientation counterpart Mohammed Idris, dismissed the claim by the Daily Trust Newspaper.

Bagudu said told journalists that there was nowhere in the document where 150 billion dollars was mentioned.

The Minister also said that the agreement made no reference to LGBTQ or the rights of people involved in such activities.

“The partnership is about trade agreements, human rights and environmental promotion,” he enthused.

He said Nigeria signed after extensive reviews and consultations by the interministerial committee convened by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of
justice.

He said Nigeria had made it clear that any provision that is inconsistent with the laws of Nigeria shall be null and void, and that is, thus, what government has to say on the issue of same-sex marriage.

“There is an existing law against that since 2014.

“It is necessary to assure Nigerians that Tinubu’s administration, being a rule-based government, will not enter into any international agreement that will be detrimental to the interest of the country and its citizens,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Information, accused Daily Trust of consistently publishing false reports against the Tinubu’s administration.

He cited the newspaper’s report on the naming of a road in Abuja after Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and the alleged plan to host a United State’s military base in Nigeria as an example.

The Minister added that the Federal Government will drag Daily Trust to the ombudsman of Newspapers Publishers Association of Nigeria, NPAN and court over the alleged false report on the Samoa Deal.

However, Daily Trust, in a statement by Maryam Aminu Bello, Esq, the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser of the newspaper group acknowledged that there are lapses in its report on the Samoa Agreement.

Related News

The newspaper said the lapses have been pointed to it by professional colleagues and it will review and take appropriate measures.

Daly Trust also acknowledged the protest by the two ministers of government over the Samoa Agreement in particular. It acknowledged that it may have been wrong in its interpretation of the agreement.

“As our editors understood it, the Samoa Agreement signed by Nigeria has expanded the definition of gender rights, from the traditional male-female, to a new norm, captured by the term LGBTQ (Lesbian; Bi-sexual, Gay, Transgender and Queer). That is the crux of the matter.

“If the agreement does not aim at promoting such new orientation, widely accepted in Western countries, then we are wrong in our interpretation. We will readily apologise both to the government and to the public for crying wolf.

“We expect that those qualified, by training and experience, to make such a judgement, will weigh into the matter and we will as usual, publish all sides in the discussion, including that of the government.

“We wish to add that in this story, as in others over the last 26 years, the Daily Trust tried to be guided by public interest.

See the full press release by the Daily Trust below

Two ministers of government, and other sundry commentators have taken us to the cleaners over our story on the Samoa Agreement in particular, and some other reports published earlier. We have followed with attention what these government officials said, and left unsaid, and we will publish that in full, for the records. We have also acknowledged lapses in our reporting on this particular matter, pointed out to us by professional colleagues, and we will review and take appropriate measures.

As our editors understood it, the Samoa Agreement signed by Nigeria has expanded the definition of gender rights, from the traditional male-female, to a new norm, captured by the term LGBTQ (Lesbian; Bi-sexual, Gay, Transgender and Queer). That is the crux of the matter.

If the agreement does not aim at promoting such new orientation, widely accepted in Western countries, then we are wrong in our interpretation. We will readily apologise both to the government and to the public for crying wolf.

We expect that those qualified, by training and experience, to make such a judgement, will weigh into the matter and we will as usual, publish all sides in the discussion, including that of the government.

We wish to add that in this story, as in others over the last 26 years, the Daily Trust tried to be guided by public interest.

It is also important for us to clarify some of the insinuations by the information minister about other stories that Daily Trust had done. First, the statement that our newspaper had given “a banner headline to a baseless accusation that the Government was working on citing foreign military bases in the country”. Nothing could be further from the truth. We only reported in the Daily Trust of Sunday, 5th May, 2024, details of an open letter by six scholars and activists urging the president and the National Assembly to reject any bid to cite United States of America and French military bases within Nigeria.

Also, the minister said “Daily Trust concocted and popularised a lie that the Federal Government had renamed the Murtala Muhammed Expressway in Abuja to Wole Soyinka Way”. We did publish two opinion articles in Daily Trust of Wednesday and Saturday, June 12 and 15, 2024, in which the opinion writers raised concerns over alleged renaming of the Murtala Muhammed Way, Abuja, after Wole Soyinka.

We recall that the information minister’s press statement on that matter, which was issued on the 17th of June, 2024, with the headline “Abuja’s Murtala Muhammed Way NOT Renamed after Soyinka-FG”, was reported generously in our online and offline platforms.

We wish to reiterate that we are an impartial media outlet. Since 1998, we have operated under six different governments, with the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration being the seventh. Throughout this period, we have consistently demonstrated a high level of impartiality in our reportage.

Maryam Aminu Bello, Esq
Company Secretary/Legal Adviser
Media Trust Group

Load more