The Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) has described as hypocritical and highly dishonest the position of President Muhammadu Buhari on the self determination of the Palestinian nation, calling on him to give a secone thought to the issue of Biafra in Nigeria.
A statement signed on Tuesday in Abuja by the PPP National Chairman, Dr. Damian Uzoma Ogbonna, said it agreed with the President on the principle and right to self determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Charter and UN Security Council resolutions.
The President, on Sunday 28th February 2016, during a meeting with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, was quoted to have 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.”
The statement 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 at sight for daring to demand the Palestinian solution here in Nigeria; the same solution he has so eloquently and so freely canvassed in far away Qatar. This is where we part ways with the President.
“The Palestinian question and the Biafran 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 Ibo 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 Peoples 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 extra-judicial killings of unarmed civil protesters.
“Therefore, we view the President’s positions on these two issues as highly dishonest and hypocritical and call upon him to lead with some semblance of honour, decency and statesmanship. The era of dubious and incoherent dictatorship is over for good and the world now judges leaders not simply on foreign policy posturing in faraway lands, but also by their behavior in domestic matters on the home front.”