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Nigerian muslims protest Israeli raids on Palestine

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Scores of Nigerian Muslims have been pouring into the streets in the northern parts of the country to protest the bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Palestine by Israeli soldiers.

The protesters, mostly in Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna and Niger States, are not happy with the attacks on the Strip which is mostly occupied by Muslims and are accusing the Israeli authorities of trying to eliminate the Palestinians from the surface of the earth.

The protests, which started on Tuesday and spilled into Wednesday, have been largely peaceful, with the protesters taunting the Nigerian government for not getting involved in peace efforts embarked upon by several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and others.

Waving the Palestinian green, black, red and white flags, demonstrators marched through the streets chanting “Free, free Palestine” and “Down Israel, down.”

One of the leaders of the protests in Bauchi, Abdulmutallab Salihu who spoke exclusively to Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday, said he is pained that Israel is doing everything to annihilate Palestinians while the world is aiding them.

“The world is watching as Israel is carrying out unprovoked bombardment of Palestine, killing defenceless people, including women and children,” said Salihu

“And coming in the holy month of Ramadan is completely unacceptable. This is an unwarranted attack on Islam.

“The Gaza Strip belongs to Palestine but Israel has been doing everything possible to claim a land that does not belong to it.

“We call on the Nigerian government to lend its voice to the issue and come out in support of Palestine. Our protest is a way of showing our displeasure at the raids and the killings of innocent people.”

When asked what he wants the Nigerian government to do, Salisu said:

“We want the Nigerian government to severe ties with Israel to register our anger with them.”

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Reminded that Nigeria is a secular nation, Salisu said:

“The President of Nigeria is a Muslim and should speak on behalf of Muslims in the country. Enough is enough.”

Another protester was quoted as saying:

“People are dying, people are being displaced, people are being hurt and people are being treated unfairly. We are facing the same thing in Nigeria.”

Another protester, Ibrahim Mustapha, said:

“Israel is pushing the hands of Muslims. They are looking for war and we will not take it lying low.”

Lending his voice to the protest, son of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Bashir, took to his Twitter handle to condemn the raid.

Bashir also posted videos and photographs of the Majid Al-Aqsa Mosque Israeli forces bombed on Monday, where 35 people were reportedly killed.

By: Isaac Dachen

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