The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) has expressed disappointment over President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s silence on the Israeli occupation of Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly’s 78th annual session during his address on September 20.
The executive chairman of the MPAC, Disu Kamor, noted yesterday in a statement that Nigeria’s opposition to political persecution, imperialism and apartheid was long known and that President Tinubu’s silence on the issue at such an important forum was a “radical departure from Nigeria’s long standing tradition of promoting freedom, human rights and independence for oppressed people.”
He said that on September 21, 2023, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in his address to the General Assembly stated that: “Once again, I come to you carrying the cause of my people who are struggling for freedom and independence, to remind you of the tragedy caused by the Nakba 75 years ago.”
“Despite President Tinubu’s silence on this important issue, we were heartened to hear many leaders like him speak up for Palestine as the situation in the Holy Land is weighing heavily on many people everywhere, including Nigerians,” the group stated.
Kamor said that in comparison to President Tinubu’s silence on the occupation of Palestine, his immediate predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari at the UNGA76 in 2021 and at the UNGA77 in 2022 spoke on the plight and rights of the Palestinian, as well as that of the Rohingya refugees to return to their homes in Myanmar, apart from nuclear disarmament and global peace.
“We urge the President Bola Tinubu government to maintain an independent foreign policy and stand on the side of the victims, not the oppressor. There is the need to stand for freedom, human rights and independence, and to amplify the international consensus on this issue, which supports a two-state solution for the two peoples,” Kamor stated.