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Palestinian statehood: Muslim scholars preach spirit of fellowship


CONCERNED Muslim scholars and organisations have urged people in position of authority to always embrace their neighbours and extend the spirit of fellowship at their trial times.

 This call was based on the premise of Nigeria’s refusal to cast a “Yes” vote during the question of Palestine and the Palestinians’ bid to be formally recognized as a state and a full member of the United Nations.

   According to them, the nation’s position, on the issue of Palestine has serious implications and Nigeria’s refusal to support a vote that may have acted as the impetus for peace in the region is historic.

   Among the scholars are Rasheed Adesokan, a defence analyst, Wahab Egbewole, Professor on Jurisprudence and International law and Femi Abbas, a media consultant, who expressed shock over the sudden shift in Nigeria’s foreign policy.

   Adesokan, who doubles as Executive Director, Nigerian Society for Strategic and International Studies said that the abstention of Nigeria on Palestinian statehood was very sad.

   The veteran of the Nigerian Civil war said: “Nigeria has always been known to be in support of the oppressed countries, so why we abstained at this moment beat everybody’s imagination.’’

   Adesokan said that the shift in Nigeria foreign policy “means we are not in control. We are being controlled by some powerful forces for their own selfish interest”.

    “Our leaders are not concerned about our common national interest but pursuing their personal interest. We are yet to wake up. We are clueless. It is a pity’’, he said.

   The public affairs analyst, however, expressed optimism that the people of Palestinian would eventually win, with or without Nigeria’s support.

   “Why they go to UNSC beat my imagination. The place was divided into two since 1948 between it and Israel, there is hope at the end of the day’’, he said.

   Adesokan wondered why Nigeria noted for fighting for human rights, stood aloof in the Palestinian case despite long standing relationship with Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

   He said the way forward was for operators of Nigeria foreign policy to sit down and see that they do not mortgage their hereafter at the expense of the good things of this world.

  In the same vein, Prof. Wahab Egbewole stated in a statement entitled: “Opportunity Lost, Injustice Enthroned’’ that Nigeria has lost a very big opportunity to edge her name in gold.

  “it was missed opportunity for Nigeria to make yet another history as a champion of worthy causes and the supporter of the oppressed’’, he said.

Egbewole, who is the national President of Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA), said “like its lackluster domestic policies, the Nigeria foreign policy has glorified and enthroned injustice’’

This he said was done “ by sitting on the fence on the Palestine vote instead of coming out clearly to denounce man’s inhumanity to man and the current regime of might is right’’.

Egbewole said as Muslims, “we are convinced that Allah is just and will redress this injustice which the Nigerian government assisted in perpetrating, Allah is always on the side of the truth’’.

     Abbas, who is a media consultant to Muslim Ummah of South West of Nigeria (MUSWEN), said the issue of liberation was seen purely as a humanitarian affair “which deserved human feeling rather than sheer political contention’’.

  He said Nigeria has who been in fore front in the liberation struggle of many countries shocked the international community with a sudden shift in foreign policy on Palestinian statehood by abstaining from voting.

  The Executive Chairman, MPAC Nigeria, By Disu Kamor, “Not only does the Nigeria’s abstaining from this historic opportunity to promote peace and justice at the UN fail to represent the sentiments of Nigerians, it is reprehensible that our government has forced us to be silent with it in the face of injustice.

   It will be recalled that UNSC resolution was to be an historic anticlimax of the 66 year old Israeli/Palestinian conflict with a view to paving way for a two nation solution thus creating a peaceful atmosphere for the Middle East.

  The 15- member nations of the Security Council were to vote either for Israeli withdrawal or continuous occupation of the area, nine votes were to form the simple majority required to liberate the Palestinians from the political siege of Israel.

  Of those 15 member nations, eight voted in favour of the liberation

while two voted for continuous Israeli siege on Palestine, while Nigeria and four others abstained. at the United Nations (UN) Security Council session last Tuesday to support for state terrorism.

  A “yes” vote by Nigeria would have paved the way to compel Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip which dated back to1967.

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