•Oppression of Palestinians by Israel not on his front burner
Ace broadcaster and the former Director, Public Affairs, with Voice of Nigeria, VON, Alhaji AbdurRazaq AbdusSalam, has said it was not surprising that President Tinubu didn’t address Palestine during his first outing at UNGA78, saying that he has limited knowledge about Palestinian affairs.
According to Alhaji AbdusSalam, famously known as Abu Umar Al-Faruq, “Leaders are products of the institutions they attend. They’re also products of their ideals and the ideas they hold. The reality is that our president is a good politician but has limited knowledge when it comes to international issues. That’s not his field. More so, discussion on Palestine isn’t something on his front burner.”
He said, “Before now, he has never been exposed to the issue around Palestine, Al-Aqsa, among others. No Muslim group or individual has gone to greet him and speak to him on Palestinian issues. Our president doesn’t even know some common issues about Islam. He’s not schooled in the ideology of Islam, so it’s quite unfair to expect him to do what former President Buhari did at UNGA during his administration.
The author of “Palestine: Why Our Heart Bleeds” also faulted the president’s speech writers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who he said could have been well-informed about Nigeria’s years of advocacy for Palestine’s statehood, and guided the president in the right direction.
He said, “It’s also a function of the speech writers around him. How effective are they? What do they even know about the yearning of the Muslims. It’s also an issue because in most cases the president does not write his speech himself. If he has an idea, he gives it to them, then they write it. So, if the speech writers are not conscious of the issues of Palestine, there’s no way they’d put it in the speech.
Speaking further, Abu Umar Al-Faruq, said, “When I looked at all these areas, I realised that it’s going to be a miracle to expect President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to focus on the issue of Palestine at UNGA 78. If the Palestine issue, for instance, is in his speech and a journalist asks him about it, he won’t be able to defend what he has said because he has limited knowledge about Palestinian affairs. That’s the fact.”
Jonathan abstains from voting for Palestine
Abu Umar Al-Faruq, the first Amir of The Muslim Congress, TMC, recalled that a similar incident happened with former President Goodluck Jonathan, when in December 2014, Nigeria abstained from voting in favour of a motion seeking recognition for an independent Palestinian State at the UN Security Council.
“That year, Jonathan’s ambassador didn’t vote for Palestine. 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 dates back to 1967. Sadly, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu later thanked Jonathan and the rest they say is history, until President Buhari came on board and started speaking about Palestine at any given opportunity.
“What we are seeing today is the function of the people there; those writing the speech and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Normally, it’s not a person. It’s a lot of interests put together. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some of the president’s colleagues will sit down and put the speech together. That’s the reality we’re facing,” he noted.
Alhaji AbdusSalam, however, noted that President Tinubu’s silence will not affect the Palestinians in their quest for statehood as many other world leaders – Muslims and non-Muslims, including President Erdogan of Turkiye, Emir of Qatar, among others, all addressed the issue at the UNGA 78 .
“It will not affect them. They’d keep struggling. The reality is that once they grow, they become more aware of these issues on a daily basis. More people are rising up, non-Muslims especially speak about the Palestinian issue.
“I think, in our environment, whatever we can do to create awareness is the best thing we should be doing. Muslim scholars or organisations should not stop sensitising the general public. Those who are close to the presidency or have direct link with President Tinubu should also talk to him about Palestine. Nigeria can use her diplomatic influence for the Palestinians at the UN.”
In case you missed it
Nigeria under Tinubu refuses to speak on Palestine at UNGA78, first time in eight years
Clad in purple native attire and his signature infinity cap, President Tinubu’s 1544 text-long speech touched on myriads of internal and external affairs, including democratic governance, security and economic challenges, among others, but failed to touch on the plight of the Palestinians, a departure from Nigeria’s yearly tradition at the General Assembly. Read HERE
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.
Rawshield PR Company
Guaranty Trust Bank