The People’s Progressive Party (PPP), on Tuesday hit hard at President Muhammadu Buhari over his statement on the efforts at self-determination by the Palestinians during his recent visit to Qatar.
Buhari had while expressing his support for the statehood of Palestine, noted that the City of Jerusalem should be approved as the capital of the Arab state which has been decades of conflict with the state of Israel.
In a reaction to the President’s stand, the PPP described it as hypocritical and highly dishonest and called on him to give a second thought to the issue of Biafra in Nigeria.
In a statement signed on Tuesday in Abuja by PPP National Chairman, Dr. Damian Uzoma Ogbonna, the party said it agreed with the President on the principle and right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant United Nations (UN) Charter and UN Security Council resolutions.
The President had last Sunday during a meeting with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, said: “Like the state of Qatar, Nigeria favours a ‘two-state’ solution, with the state of Palestine living side by side with the state of Israel.”
Ogbonna said: “We agree completely with President Buhari that the people of Palestine should be allowed self-determination based on their peculiar circumstance.
“We also hasten to add that the government of Israel is on record accepting the same solution in principle and has in fact implemented Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The question that remains is the status of Jerusalem; and both the Palestinian nation and the government of Israel are still in dialogue to sort out their peculiar circumstance. So we stand with the President on this.
“However, we fail to understand why the same President Buhari opposes a similar solution right here at home on the Biafra question; why he would abandon dialogue and rather prefer that unarmed Biafra protesters be shot and killed on sight for daring to demand the Palestinian solution here in Nigeria; the same solution he has so eloquently and so freely canvassed in faraway Qatar. This is where we part ways with the President.
“The Palestinian question and the Biafra question are one and the same; the issues are the right to self-determination of component nations of both States; the State of Israel and the State of Nigeria. Both states, Israel and Nigeria are signatories to the UN Charter and its relevant articles on referendum and self-determination. Both questions are also ethnic based; the Arab in Israel and the Igbo in Nigeria. Therefore, the same principle ought to apply to both questions. To support the right of one to a solution by dialogue and self-determination as the President has so rightly enunciated for the Palestinian cause, while opposing the same solution for the other, smacks of sheer hypocrisy.
“Clearly then, the position of the People’s Progressive Party is based on equal application of the principles of universal suffrage. In contrast, President Buhari’s positions are completely incoherent on the same subject. The President would appear to come down all over the place depending on those involved and where the issues arise. In Israel, he quite obviously accepts the application of the principles of Article 1 of the UN Charter for the self-determination of the Palestinian nation. However, in Nigeria, he is opposed to the same principle, even unto the extrajudicial killings of unarmed civil protesters,” Ogbonna said.
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