By Yunus Olawale
The Nigerian Muslim groups in Abuja expressed unprecedented condemnation about the unjust killings of innocent people in Palestine by the Israeli military since 7th of October, 2023. This was known through the declaration statements released and read by the Justice for Palestinians Coalition (JUPAC) at a programme organized at Labour House, Abuja, on 26th October, 2023.
JUPAC expressed its dissatisfaction with how Palestinians were killed unjustly and their properties and infrastructure were destroyed beyond recognition, which absolutely violated international human rights. Everyone was born freely and has equal rights and dignity and international law should not be sentimental and selective but should be applicable to everyone equally and equitably.
It said, “We have seen an unprecedented scale of destruction of lives, infrastructure, and the environment, including with the use of banned substances such as white phosphorus deployed by the right-wing government of Netanyahu. Israeli forces targeted the al-Ahli Arab hospital in the south of Gaza, killing 500 Palestinians in a single blow, despite issuing an evacuation notice for civilians to move in that direction and later raining bombs on them. This is premeditated mass murder.”
With the aggravating and aggressive killings in the state of Palestine, Abdullah Abu Shawesh, the Ambassador of Palestine to Nigeria, gave the statistic figures of Palestinians, both children and women and elders, who have been killed by the Israelis to be more than six thousand and how his home country’s infrastructure has been smashed by the actions of the Israeli military.
He said, “The total number of martyrs since October 7th reached more than 6,504 Palestinians; 70% of them are children, women, and the elderly, while 1,800 civilians sustained various levels of injuries and more than 15 hundred are missing under the rubble. The death toll in the occupied West Bank reached 104 and 900 sustained various levels of injuries.”
“73 of the health workers were killed, while 100 were injured. 12 hospitals and 32 health centers were out of service due to direct attacks or running out of fuel. 25 ambulances have become out of service due to Israeli attacks. Some of the weapons used by the occupying power melt the skin of the people and need special treatment that is not found in Gaza….,” the ambassador stated.
The JUPAC was also unhappy about how Western media had been lured to always change the narrative around the war to support the callous and inhuman actions of Israelis against Palestinians and their territories. And the secret moves that the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria engaged in to convince the media house in Nigeria
“Western media continued to try to skew the narrative around the war in favour of Israel by callously ignoring decades of slow, silent, but steady cleansing of Palestinians by the occupation forces, to which the daring attacks by Hamas on the 7th of October, 2023, were a desperate response. The social media platforms (Facebook, TikTok, X,etc.) have all been shadow-banning information on the happenings in Palestine preventing the horrors of the Israeli army from being seen on those platforms as those gory pictures and details horrify any human with blood in their veins,” the group said in their statement.
It also added, “On our local terrain in Nigeria, we have seen the surreptitious moves of the Israeli ambassador to Nigeria, moving clandestinely under the cloak of the night to media houses to whitewash the crimes of his home government and to persuade the media in Nigeria to label Hamas a terrorist organization.”
The groups have declared their support for and stand with the people of Palestine and have also urged the United Nations to raise a flag of cease-fire in the territories and called on the Arab League and the Africa Union to stand by the Palestinians.
In their declaration, they said, “The international community led by the UN must retrieve the peace process from the monopoly of the United States, which has become part of the Israeli occupation machinery. Any future peace process must incorporate the lifting of the siege of Gaza and the end of the occupation as its core and be supervised by nations other than the US and EU.”
“We called on the Arab League, the African Union, and other regional bodies with a history of colonialism to intensify their support for the Palestinian struggle by embracing the BDS,” the declaration added.
In the peroration of its statement, the JUPAC urged the Nigerian government to put its hand on deck and ice all relations with the state of Israel and be wary of its treacherous permeation of the Nigerian intelligence architecture, as the hijacking of this remains its abiding goal in Nigeria.