Muslims hold rally for Palestine in Lagos, call for peace in Gaza (Photos)

Muslims in Nigeria have called for an end to the ongoing war in Palestine, as they expressed their disapproval of the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government.

They assembled in Lagos over the weekend from neighboring states including Ogun, Oyo and Osun states to demand for a ceasefire in Gaza in particularly; and peace in Palestine in general.

The rally, tagged, ‘50,000-man match’, was organized by the Conference of Islamic Organizations (CIO) at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos on Saturday, to raise awareness about the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

The protesters, in their hundreds, were seen waving the Palestine flag, along with the Nigeria flag, and held placards with inscriptions such as “Free Palestine’, ‘Gaza: End the Siege’, ‘the UK, stop funding terrorism’ and ‘Hands off Jerusalem’ among others

They also chanted, “Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza” and “Free Palestine” during the rally.

Among the protesters were Sheikh Abdulfattah Thanni, the Chairman of the Ulamau Nigeria, Sheikh Dhikrullah Shaffii, the President of CIO, and Awwal Musa Rafsanjani, a representative of Amnesty International (AI), Nigeria.

Engr. Lukman Balogun, the secretary general of the Conference of Islamic Organization while addressing the protesters articulating the purpose of the rally.

“We’re here because we’re humans, because we’re Muslims, and it’s binding on us to stand up for the oppressed,” he said

The CIO demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, access to humanitarian aid to Gaza, and the complete lifting of the siege on the region. They also condemned the support of the United States and European Union in the conflict.

Taiwo Kuye, an accountant, stated his dissatisfaction with the inactions of Muslim countries, saying “The Israeli zionists continue to oppress and kill Palestinian women and children in large numbers and the Muslim world is unable to rise and defend the rights of their brothers, wherein the 3rd holiest mosque is located

“I feel helpless being unable to help them. I can only continue to pray for them, and urge our Muslim world to rise and support our brothers,” he added.

Ruqayyah Idowu, a University of Lagos student mentioned her discontent with the current crisis in Gaza saying “My heart bleeds at the genocide happening in Gaza. I wish I could do more to support the Palestinians but this is the least I can do”

The conflict in Gaza had continued to draw reactions from around the world after Hamas attacked Israel using bombs and ground soldiers, killed many people and abducted many others recently. Israel had responded by bombarding the Gaza Strip.

The CIO had addresses a press conference on October 17, 2023, during which it berated the United Nations and accused Israel of violating international laws and commiting war crimes under the support of the United States. It also urged the UN to take immediate action and facilitate negotiations for peaceful resolutions that prioritize Palestine.

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