Posted by News Express | 24 December 2017 | 3,046 times
The Presidency on Saturday crossed swords with the Supreme Council for Sharia, over its accusation that President Muhammadu Buhari let down Muslims by his inability to attend the emergency summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The extraordinary summit of the OIC in Istanbul, which was attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, was convened by Turkey to discuss the U.S. President Ronald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.
Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the Presdient, in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday described the allegation by the Sharia Council as “totally misleading and baseless”. He noted that the President was represented at the OIC summit by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
Shehu said that Buhari had to go to France to attend the Climate Change Summit because he had earlier given a firm commitment to President Emmanuel Macron.
“The Paris summit on climate change wasn’t a junket. It was also about the problems of the Lake Chad region which affects Nigeria as well as the neighbouring countries.
“About 30 million lives are involved. Without the drying up of the lake, we would probably not have had the acute poverty that nurtured the environment for Boko Haram terrorism,” he said.
Shehu recalled that countries such Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which sponsored the UN General Assembly Resolution to condemn Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel, didn’t also attend the Turkey meeting for various compelling reasons.
“As a respectable religious organisation, an organisation that we hold in high esteem, the Supreme Council for Shari’ah could have helped themselves and the nation by checking the facts before the outburst, which sadly, was repeatedly aired by the international radio.
“By the time the Erdogan summit was called, the Presidential advance team was already in Paris, ready to receive him. At that point, the best President Buhari could do was to send a representation.
“He called President Erdogan and explained the circumstances and the Turkish leader expressed his understanding and appreciation. We are signatory to the final resolutions,” the Presidential Spokesman stated.
He explained that at every available opportunity, including his addresses at the UN General Assembly sessions in the past, 2015, 2016 and 2017, President Buhari had always spoken passionately and forcefully about the Palestinian issue and the necessity and urgency of finding a just solution to their case.
Shehu said: “It is very uncharitable for any religious organisation to accuse the President of abandoning Muslims as alleged.
“As can be seen from the UN vote on Jerusalem, the issue of Palestine is for all men of conscience, Muslims, Christians, Jews and even nonbelievers.
“Besides, the President has shown consistency in his support for the Palestinian cause.”
Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President, also quoted the President’s address at the General Assembly in 2015, where he said ‘as we engage in these annual debates, we need remind ourselves of the principles that led to the founding of the United Nations. Among those are peaceful coexistence and self determination of peoples.
“In this context, Mr. President, the unresolved question of self-determination for the Palestinian people and those of Western Sahara, both nations having been adjusted by the United Nations as qualifying for this inalienable right must now be assured and fulfilled without any further delay or obstacle.”
“The international community has come to pin its hopes on resolving the Palestinian issue through the two – states solution which recognises the legitimate right of each state to exist in peace and security.
“The world has no more excuses or reasons to delay the implementation of the long list of Security Council resolutions on this question. Neither do we have the moral right to deny any people their freedom or condemn them indefinitely to occupation and blockade.”
The Presidential Spokesman advised religious organisations to avoid jumping to conclusions and making unfounded allegations without adequate knowledge and facts of the reality surrounding certain decisions and actions of the government.
Shehu expressed the appreciation of the Presidency for the support and prayers for the President from all religious organisations and assured that President Buhari was committed to the promotion of peace and harmony in the country.
The Presidential Media Aide urged all religious leaders to recognise the sensitivity of some of their utterances on the unity and peaceful coexistence of the country.
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