Samoa Agreement: FG reports Daily Trust to Nigerian Press Council

Mohammed Idris Malagi

Minister of information and national orientation Mohammed Idris on Wednesday said the Federal Government has reported Daily Trust to the Nigerian Press Council over its report that the Samoa Agreement compels Nigeria to recognise LGBTQ rights.

Idris stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the federal executive council.

He was joined by the attorney feneral of the federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi.

The minister said: “Let me say that the principle here is that the press is actually a partner in any democratic journey and this administration particularly, the presidency of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu believes in the freedom of expression, believes in the role of the media in ensuring that there is continuous and uninterrupted democracy in our land.

“So government is not desirous of doing anything that will harm that freedom of expression. But like we have said, where we feel there is an infringement, where we feel that the media itself or a section of it, in this case this Newspaper has erred, because government still believes that the report by Daily Trust is not correct, Nigerians have been misinformed, and in the process a lot of damage has been done on the psych of our people.

“People have interpreted even without reading the report itself, the wording of the paper and have taken to make sermon and therefore, this further underscores the importance of the media and what we say all the time. If you want to report it is pertinent on all practitioners in the industry to ensure that you report what is correct and in the best interest of the nation.

“This is the message that government has and it is because of that, that we have taken to the industry’s own self-appointed ombudsman to look at some of the excesses, we have made a complaint to the ombudsman to look at the report and we have sighted examples of where Daily Trust have got it wrong.

“So that the newspaper can come clean and also mention or apologise to the nation and the government.

“There is no harm in saying you are wrong in this one, we apologise and we get it right, but we don’t expect that we will just sit down and keep quiet when government feels that what a particular newspaper has written is not in the best interest of the country and it is not correct, it is misinformation and therefore action needs to be taken and the action we have taken is that as we speak now lodged a complaint with the ombudsman.”

In reaction to the government’s position on the report, the newspaper said in a statement on Monday that it would apologise if its suspicion about the agreement is proven wrong.