This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Lately, there has been understandable nationwide outcry at the shocking welcome granted by President Tinubu of Nigeria to Hamas, an organization sadly linked with international terrorism. The worrisome Presidential and diplomatic concessions to that group have compelled progressive Nigerians to wonder if terrorism is President Tinubu’s foreign policy, and if the threats portended in such an ominous visit are intended to be the next new dish of unfolding woes in the nation, since about the middle of 2023.

One Nigerian proverb states that elders do not sit by and watch a tethered pregnant goat labour to deliver. That is the sense of responsibility that now prompts the National Prayer Altar to join voices with the multitude of peace-loving and security-conscious Nigerians to ask, “What is happening?”

The visit of Hamas, of all groups, at a time when Nigeria is grappling with countless cases of unresolved terrorist attacks strongly suggests a lack of sensitivity and a lack of empathy by the still fresh Tinubu administration. That such a visit would receive the direct or indirect support of the government would seem to be saying that the present government has officially endorsed terrorism as a foreign policy, especially against the backdrop of Tinubu’s campaign promise to “continue from where Buhari stopped.”

While continuing “from where Buhari stopped” might have been a successful campaign slogan in certain parts of the country, adopting it as a template in governance is ill-advised. Every index of presidential performance assessment indicated that Buhari was a colossal failure as leader of Nigeria. For President Tinubu to posture himself as following in those hated footsteps is to bring upon himself such infamy and ridicule that would not only affect him but also scar his ancestry in unending ignominy.

Since assuming office less than a year ago, President Tinubu has taken some steps that are a disturbing reminder of the regrettable Buhari era; steps that seem to support terrorism, insecurity, religious intolerance, as well as the violation of Section 10 of the Constitution. Some of those infamous steps are:

1. the access granted Dr Zakir Naik to enter Nigeria and deliver “lectures” in Sokoto, Abuja, Keffi, and Ilorin. That is a man who has been banned from many countries, including his home country of India, for promoting terrorism;

2. the resuscitation of the controversial RUGA project for Fulanis, by attempting to misappropriate the lands of ethnic nationalities for an immigrant group in the country. According to the Land Use Act, the Federal Government has no authority to allocate lands;

3. the condoning of a group that left Sokoto to travel all the way down to Lagos to declare an OIC resolution at the Abiola Park in October 2023, notwithstanding that Section 10 of the Constitution forbids government from adopting any religion as state religion;

4. the loud silence of the President, in his New Year speech, on the murder of 238 Nigerians on Christmas Eve in 2023, by Fulani terrorists in Bokkos, Mangu, and Barkin Lardi Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Plateau State;

5. the permission granted to Hamas to enter Nigeria and justify its terrorist activities on prime TV, as if it were government’s unfortunate endorsement of international terrorism.

We fully support freedom of worship in Nigeria. However, the exercise of such a freedom should neither compromise national security nor jeopardize the rights of other citizens who are equally entitled to their freedom of worship. That freedom is not the exclusive right of any group in the country, according to Section 38 (1) of the Constitution.

Since 2009, Islamist extremists with their sponsors have used religious intolerance as a basis to threaten national security as well as the food security of Nigeria. As of today, Nigeria has neither security for lives nor sufficient food to feed its population.

The famine in the country is the direct consequence of the serial attacks on farmers and the destruction of farmlands all over the country by Fulani terrorists masking as “herdsmen” in their purported bid to feed THEIR cattle – at the expense of others’ lives and properties and welfare. Nigeria is not suffering from any drought, and the weather in Nigeria has been stable, with farmers willing to cultivate their land for food crops.

Under the circumstances, a conscionable government should have been seeking lasting solutions to dismantle terrorism in the country, to restore the security of lives and food. Section 14 (2)b of the Constitution clearly states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.” Are we to believe that the security and welfare of citizens are not the primary interest of President Tinubu?

Hamas, on national TV in Nigeria, claimed that it was not a terrorist organization, and that it was Israel committing genocide in Gaza. However, organisations such as the European Union and countries such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom hold the opposite view, pointing out that Hamas’ invasion of Israel on 7th October 2023 and the killing of unarmed men, women, and children were blatant and unprovoked acts of terrorism.

Whatever the side that someone might pick, our concern is for the President not to drag Nigeria into an international conflict that does not concern us. Nigeria must maintain its neutrality on the Palestinian question and focus on resolving its internal challenges, rather than make Nigeria the location of a proxy war between Arabs and Western powers in support of Israel. The President should not go shopping for additional problems for the country. We have enough troubles already.

President Tinubu should focus on resolving the many issues that his political party, the APC, has plunged Nigeria into. At the moment, Nigerians all over the country are protesting against hunger, publicly chanting “We are hungry.” Resolving those crises is more important than dabbling into the self-inflicted misfortune of Hamas.

To ensure that Nigeria maintains its neutral stand on such religious and political issues, as enshrined in the Constitution, President Tinubu should equally extend invitation to Israel to visit Nigeria, with time also on Channels TV, to present its own position on the Palestinian question. If the President is sincerely interested in a resolution of the Palestine issue, he should engage the president of the State of Palestine and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, rather than a terrorist organisation there, like our Boko Haram, that does not represent the people or government of Palestine. Nigeria should steer clear of Hamas and similar terrorist organizations.

It is our hope that President Tinubu will heed our counsel and restore balance and normalcy to Nigeria by inviting Israel to present its side of the narrative. This must be done quickly, before other international terrorist organizations begin to consider Nigeria as their patron, their safe haven.

God bless Nigeria.

For and on behalf of the National Prayer Altar:

1. Bosun Emmanuel SW

2. Kontein Trinya SS

3. Omodele Sonde SW

4. Buraimoh Segun SW

5. Mayowa Banji SW

6. Ngozi Udombana SE

7. Tim Obiaga SE

8. Tunde Chukwujekwe SW

9. Doris Andrew SS

10. Ibukun Oluwafemi SW

11. Patricia Tawo SS

12. Ohio Enakeno SS

13. Odezi Evezi SS

14. Yvonne Ben-Kalio SS

15. Moda Simon-Hart SS

16. Caleb Atoyebi SW

17. Helen Akujobi SE

18. Rose Okoro SE

19. George Bari NW

20. Hauwa Kure NW

21. Olayemi Ajayi-Ejiogu SW

22. Ngozi Azubike SE

23. Benjamin Dike SE

24. Charity Okujagu SS

25. Ahunsimhenre Arheghan SS

26. Oludamisi Kuku SW

27. Nwamaka Eddy-Ikwueze SE

28. Olufunmilayo Ewa-Jesu SW

29. Alisa Daniel NE

30. Larry Sylvans SE

31. Chijioke Maduka SE

32. Ekashili Sunday NW

33. Helen Ogbonna SS

34. Olukemi Oluwagbemi SW

35. Roger Tanko NW

36. Felicia Okwuchukwu SE

37. Vicky Daniel NW

38. Obiageri Okorafor SE

39. Chinwe Nwagbo SE

40. Patience Oyeneye SE

41. Miranda Ifere NC

42. Gladys Onyebuchi SE

43. Biodun Oniye SW

44. Funmi Oniye SW

45. Comfort Ewang SS

46. Uduak Ekanem SS

47. Idongesit Essien SS

48. Ima Emmanuel SS

49. Mary Emmanuel SW

50. Nanpon James NC

51. Linda Ndache NE

52. Nanna James NC

53. David Alabi SW

54. Seth Odeneye SW

55. Tuate Alagoa-Nene SS

56. David Ndace NC

57. Ofoefule Akuzuo SE

58. Christiana Lawal SW

59. Durotoluwa Akinyemi SW

60. Olusola Soyoye SW

61. Patricia Ona NC

62. Paul Etiubon SS

63. Rebecca Etiubon SS

64. Marie Orgah SE

65. Chinyere Ukaegbu SE

66. Stella Jacks SS

67. Obele Ibanga SS

68. Tom-George Isobo SS

69. Joan Abanda SS

70. Steve Oluwalowo SW

71. Chamberlain Osueke SE

72. Comfort Piwuna NC

73. Chiedu Issachar SE

NC - North Central

NE - North East

NW - North West

SE - South East

SS - South South

SW - South West