June 18, 2024

A mega rally in support of Palestine was held in Lagos yesterday to demand justice for the people of Palestine and put an end to the continued bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli forces.

The mega rally, organised by the Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), drew participants from various Muslim organisations, civil society groups, students and Islamic scholars across the country.

Also in attendance from the human rights community was the Amnesty International (AI) Nigeria representative, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani.

The protesters carried placards and banners with inscriptions, such as “Nigeria Unites for Palestine, Support Freedom and Justice for the Palestinian nation; Stop Killing Innocent Women and Children; From the River to the Sea, Palestine Would be Free; Gaza: End the Siege; Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians; A Crime against Humanity; Our Freedom is not Complete without Freedom.

The mega rally tagged “50,000 Man Match” in solidarity with Palestine, also saw the Muslims asking the Federal Government of Nigeria to put on hold all diplomatic relations with Israel until the two-state resolution is achieved.

The Dean, Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Usman Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto and an adviser to the vice chancellor of Afro-Asian University, Somalia, Prof Isa Maishanu, who read the 14-point resolution of the Nigerian Muslims, demanded that the international community led by the United Nations should prevail upon Israel to stop its bombardment of Gaza and other parts of Palestine.

“We consider as irresponsible, reprehensible and barbaric, the show of support by the duo of the United States and the European Union for Israel and we hold them complicit and culpable in this human tragedy happening before the global audience,” he said.

The group further declared that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation but an elected representative of the people engaged in arms insurrection against an occupying force as allowed by international law, rationality and necessity.

The general secretary of the CIO, Lukman Balogun said, “We are here today because we are human with conscience. It is binding on us to support the oppressed, whether Muslims or non-Muslims. But when the oppressed are Muslims, it is our religious duty to support them.”

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