The Secretary General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede has described the recent demand for Nigeria to relocate her embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the expression of support to President Trump’s relocation of the United States of America’s embassy to Jerusalem as appalling to all men of conscience and a direct manifestation of acute bigotry, abject ignorance and lack of understanding of the issue.
Oloyede who is also the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, stated this while delivering the maiden Ramadan Lecture titled Achieving Peace, Stability and Good Governance in a Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Religious Society organised by The Point Newspaper held at the Combo Hall, LTV 8, Agindingbi, Lagos recently.
According to him, “ The recent demand for Nigeria to relocate her embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and its expression of support to President Trump’s relocation of the United States of America’s embassy to Jerusalem is not only appalling to all men of conscience but a (direct) manifestation of acute bigotry, abject ignorance and lack of understanding not only of the ‘Biblical prophecy’ but indeed of the religious demographics of the State of Israel today.
He added that the Christian Leader, His Eminence Pope Francis made an informed and impassionate plea against the decision saying that the decision “would add new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts”.
According to Oloyede, “Pope Francis said further: “I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations,”. Apparently drawing lessons from history, the Pope further stated that “Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace,”.
Oloyede said, “It is particularly instructive to note that Pope Francis’s vote for peace and call for the preservation of the sacerdotal status of Jerusalem for Christian, Islamic and Judaic religious traditions has also been echoed by the National Council of Churches, which represents some 35 Million American Protestants across 38 different denominations from Presbyterian to Methodist to the National Baptist Convention. In its response to the announcement of the movement of the US embassy to Jerusalem, the National Council of Churches pooh-poohed the decision of the American President. The Council said the decision “has thrown fuel on the fires of conflict in the region. People are likely to die as a direct result of this decision”. True to the Council’s prediction (prophesy), a lot of people have died and are dying as a result of the unfortunate decision of the American government. It is therefore strange that a Christian group would substitute “love” for pathological hatred and oppression just to hurt their Muslim brothers.
“I, therefore, call on all peoples of conscience to rise above pettiness and join the assemblage of well-meaning organisations all around the world including the United Nations and World Council of Churches all of which have deprecated the decision of the United States of America on the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem as ill-advised and as a recipe for global insecurity and strife, to insist on equitable solutions in consonance with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES-10/L.22 on the status of Jerusalem. A comprehensive, just and lasting resolution in the occupied territory is imperative,” he said.