In the last couple of days, the social media has been awash with fliers carrying the hashtag #LetsWalk. Despite the traction it has gained, many are not aware of what it portends. Questions like where are we walking to? what are we walking for? how are we going to walk? etc have therefore been raised from various quarters.
The wait is finally over, as the brains behind the initiative, Muslim Awareness International (MAI) today, Sunday, gave the details of the Walk, which for the first time, will replace the Aqsa Day lecture series, Nigeria’s biggest annual solidarity gathering of the intellectuals, usually attended by thousands of Nigerians in solidarity with the Palestinians struggle for liberation.
Muslim News’ findings revealed that the prominent civic group would be gathering no fewer than 15, 000 Nigerian Muslims and rights activists – Muslims and non-Muslims, for the historic Walk for Palestinian Freedom, the first of its kind, in their branded pro Palestinian vests.
“This year’s Aqsa Day, slated for Monday, November 11, is going to be unique and different from previous years’ events,” MAI Director, Alhaji Abdul Waheed Atoyebi told Muslim News in an exclusive interview to formally announce the most anticipated event, tagged, “Walk for Peace and Justice”.
According to him, For more than a decade, thousands of Nigerian Muslims and rights activists have regularly converged at the National Stadium, Surulere, Southwest Nigeria for a yearly event tagged ‘Aqsa Day lecture series’ to educate and sensitise them about the plight of the palestinians.
“We have over the years had reputable resource persons – Muslims and non Muslims who raised awareness about human rights violations in the occupied territories.
“But this year, we have decided to hold a peaceful walk so as to diversify and be more dynamic with Palestinian advocacy. We would be walking for societal enlightenment on Palestinian struggles. Their struggle for liberation is a global issue. Our President, Muhammadu Buhari had on several occasions rallied support for the Palestinians at the United Nations. This is our own way of showing solidarity with them and other oppresed Muslims in Syria, Yemen, Burma and lately, China.
Muslim News learnt that the Walk for Peace and Freedom which is scheduled for Monday, 13th Rabiul Awwal 1441AH (11th November, 2019), equivalent to a day the Federal Government of Nigeria has dedicated for the celebration of Mawlid Nabiy, will commence from the National Stadium, Ojuelegba, through Jibowu, and back to the starting point.
In a Press Release signed by MAI Head of Human Resource, Mr AbdulAzeez Adenle, the group revealed that the Walk would feature an address on the importance and obligation of giving support to the oppressed and remaining steadfast in the quest for peace and liberty.
It reads, “The Muslim Awareness International (MAI) is planning a walk to create awareness about the plight of the Palestinians and the quest for peace in insurgent ravaged territories of North Eastern Nigeria.
“The activities scheduled for the day include an address at the National Stadium, Surulere to reiterate the importance of the programme, the obligation of giving support to the oppressed and standing firm in the quest for peace and freedom. Participants – Male and female, will be given guidelines and further directives on the exercise.
“The proposed path for the ‘Walk for Peace and Freedom’ is from the National Stadium through Funsho Williams Avenue to Obanikoro, Ikorodu Road and back to the National Stadium,” it reads.
Security personnel, traffic management authorities and medical professionals will be on standby to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants during the event.
The organisers call on all lovers of peace, upholders and respecters of fundamental human rights, to honour the invitation to the epoch making event.
“The programme while being organised by a faith-based organisation, the invitation goes out to everyone who is a lover of peace and the sanctity of the fundamental human rights to freedom and self actualisation. Everybody is indeed invited to the event,” he added.