Saudi Arabia’s ruler King Salman has counter his son’s remarks this week that Israel had a “right” to its land.
In an interview with a US magazine published on Monday, heir apparent Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman appeared to put the rival land claims of Palestinians and Israel on
an equal footing.
“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation,” the prince told the Atlantic.
“I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land,” he added.
In response, the king on Tuesday reaffirmed “the kingdom’s steadfast position toward the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital”, state news agency SPA reported.
He also emphasised the need to advance the peace process in a phone call with US President Donald Trump on Monday night.
The remarks from Prince Mohammad, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, were published just three days after Israeli forces killed 16 Palestinians in one day during a peaceful demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border. The number rose to 17 on Tuesday.
Prince Mohammad’s blunt acknowledgment that Israel can exist alongside Palestine was a rare statement from an Arab leader.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but in the past two years, a series of statements and reports of covert meetings between Israeli and Saudi officials gives an impression of a rapprochement between the two states.
Both countries see Iran as their biggest outside threat and the United States as their key ally.
Most recently Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to flights bound for Israel.
The Saudi Arabian public and media have previously been heavily critical of Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Recently a number of media outlets have begun painting Israel in a reasonable light while demonising Iran. With an intense crackdown on freedom of expression in the country, it is difficult to gauge how well this turn has been taken in by citizens of the country.
Any open alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel would signal Riyadh’s abandonment of the Palestinian cause, observers have said, despite the lack of an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, long seen as a prerequisite for relations between the Jewish state and the Arab world.
In November, a document leaked by Lebanese newspaper close to Hizballah allegedly from the Saudi foreign ministry detailed concessions to Israel including Saudi encouragement of the Palestinians to cede the right of return of their refugees, in return for closer cooperation with Tel Aviv against Iran and Hizballah.
Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, has described those who asked President Mihammadu Buhari not to seek a second term in office as “voodoo priests”.
It would be recalled that prominent Nigerians, including ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military President Ibrahim Babangida, had asked Buhari to step down in 2019 and give the younger generation a go at the presidency.
But on Monday, Buhari announced his intention for a second term, while meeting with the national executive committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Commenting on the announcement, Adesina said those against Buhari staying in office beyond 2019 were acting like “they had become emergency referees” that want to stop Buhari from becoming the greatest leader in the country’s history.
“And then, some voodoo priests came: don’t run for a second term. Give way to younger people. Take a well-deserved rest. Blah blah blah. As if they were the beginning and end of democracy,” Adesina said.
“The motive was simple: we must dissuade this man from running so that he wouldn’t become the greatest ever Nigerian leader. He must not become the authentic national hero.
“All types of cards were being flashed, yellow, green, red, purple, as if they had become emergency referees. But President Buhari kept his peace. No abuse for abuse, no railing for railing. When you are in the marketplace, you concentrate on the person you are transacting a deal with, and ignore the noise of the market.”
He asked other contenders interested in the presidential race to “run away”, saying “the cat has returned from a journey, let the rats scamper for safety.”
On the 2019 elections Adesina stated,
“Nigerians will decide early next year. The greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has formally announced he will seek re-election in 2019 as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr. Buhari made the announcement on Monday at a meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress leadership.
The National Executive Committee(NEC) meeting of the party is holding in Abuja.
While the president has long indicated he will seek a second term of four years, this is his first public announcement.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Sunday said that the Federal Government would ‘ very soon ’ release another list of looters .
He stated that no intimidation from any quarter would debar the FG from releasing the list .
Mohammed spoke with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital .
He said, “We are not going to ask anybody not to go to court , but what we are telling them is that they should re -examine themselves , because when the government came out with its list , it was confident of the evidence its has .
“No government worth its salt would be challenged and would not come out to prove that what it ’ s saying is correct .
“When it comes to evidence , it ’ s for the courts to decide ; but we want to make it clear that no amount of intimidation from any side would prevent government from releasing the next batch of looters’ list and what you have seen so far is a tip of the iceberg when the list comes out.”
He added , “You will see many people that Nigerians did not suspect partook in the national looting .
“Interestingly , we have people saying that they are going to court . You see , courts are for the accused and the accuser , courts are for the rich and the poor, courts are for the government and the governed.
“So , anybody that says that he’ s going to court , that shouldn’ t frighten anybody. ”
Omoyele Sowore, 2019 presidential hopeful, locked horns with Adebayo Shittu, minister of communication, when they both appeared on a radio programme on Saturday.
Both men were guests on a socio-political programme on Fresh FM, Ibadan, Oyo state.
Sowore said he is the giant that would kick President Muhammadu Buhari’s government out of power in 2019 while Shittu mocked the Sahara Reporters publisher’s credentials, asking him to aspire for councillorship.
“Your government has failed us,” Sowore said. “I am a giant that is going to kick you out of power in 2019.”
Firing back, Shittu called Sowore a dreamer. He said: “You are just dreaming. You are a daydreamer. You are inconsequential.”
Responding, Sowore said: “I am consequential because you came to power on my back, on our back… on the back of young people who invested a lot of hope.”
By Abdulmumin Giwa
The founder of the Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation, Pastor Yohanna Buru has condemned the silence over the unfortunate Zaria massacre that led to the killing of hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria IMN.
The pastor who spoke in a brief interview with Pointer Express said “members of the movement are our people as Nigerians and as Northerners and to us as Christians, they are our neighbours”.
He said he and his team joined the mass protest that took place in Abuja last Wednesday to express support for the call for the immediate and unconditional release of the IMN leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
The cleric called on President Buhari to stop listening to misleading information that are destructive to the peaceful coexistence of the country adding that the leader of the Movement is peaceful and advocates for peace.
He called on the Government to obey the court order unconditionally releasing the leader of the Movement.
Today Wednesday 4th of April, 2018 being the 78th day since the daily sit-out calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, security operatives took over the Unity Fountain at the early hours of the day.
Insisting that they were acting on the orders of the police commissioner, the police stopped members of the movement from entering the the Fountain where the daily events take place.
They were challenged by the organizer of the sit-out who is also the convener of the Concerned Nigerians Mr. Deji Adeyanju who said “the commissioner of police is not the owner of the Unity Fountain, the Nigerian people are the owners of the Unity Fountain”.
He stated that Nigerians cannot be cowed or intimidated with impunity and misuse of power.
He added that the sit-out will continue as usual until the Nigerian government releases the leader of the Islamic Movement.
The sit-out has become a place of reaching out to the Movement and expressing support by a lot of people that are not pleased with the mistreatment meted on the Movement’s leader and his followers.
The activities at the Unity Fountain have been exposing the acts of crimes against humanity committed by the regime which launched genocide against the Movement.
This persistent activities displease the Nigerian government which is seeking ways to blackmail the Movement and alienate it in the country.
More so, the sit-out has encouraged massive protests and rallies especially the national protest that takes place every Wednesday where tens of thousands of members of the Movement participate.
Tens of thousands of protesters staged a massive rally today at the Federal Secretariat calling for immediate release of movement’s leader.