By Tony Obiechina, ABUJA The President, Yitzhak Rabin Center for African Development, Dr Nkemjika Ogini has called on the Nigerian government to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he described as the undisputed capital of Israel.
Speaking at the 23rd Memorial Lecture/Anniversary of the Assassination of late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin in Abuja at the weekend, Ogini said this is the wish of majority of Nigerians.
“We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently move Nigeria’s Embassy to Jerusalem, the undisputed capital of Israel, this is the wish of the majority of Nigerians,” he said.
Dr Ogini who is also the President of Yitzhak Rabin International School in Port Harcout, called on the United Nations (UN) not to ignore Iran’s threat to Israel alleging that Iranian activities in the Middle East is a major destabilising factor in the region.
“Severe sanctions must be placed on Iran and must not be allowed to possess nuclear weapon. The world is silent over Hamas terrorist rockets and fire balloons flying over Israel, no nation can condone the nuisance,” he added.
Delivering the Anniversary Lecture, Charge de Affairs of Israel to Nigeria, Mr Nadav Goren called on Nigerians to eschew bitterness and work for peace ahead of the 2019 General saying that there was already tension over insecurity in the North East, Middle Belt and the Niger Delta regions.
“As we speak here today, conflicts at varying intensity levels are ongoing in the North East, Middle Belt and Niger Delta. As we near elections in February, these tensions are prone to show themselves more and more,” he said.
Mr Goren who is the Deputy Head of Mission, advised politicians to emulate the late Israeli former Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin who died ‘targeting’ peace.
“I call upon Nigerians to condemn, denounce and isolate violence. Be resilient in opposing any form of violence and proudly promote the democratic discourse throughout the electoral process and thereafter,” he added.
The executive secretary, Christian United For Israel (CUFI), a prayer outreach ministry dedicated for praying for the state of Israel, Rev Samson Ozovehe, said Rabin’s ability to make concessions without compromising national and citizens’ security made him secure public trust.
“In nation building, most leaders often falter when faced with the challenge to strike a balance between security and state needs. Only a few passes the quality needed to excel. Rabin was an embodiment of such qualities; a unique fusion of a daring military commander and trailblazing statesman securing peace for his nation and his people with uncompromising persistence,” Ozovehe said.
In his goodwill message, Yuval Rabin, eldest son of the late Prime Minister said his father never relented in fighting for peace, the ideas he stood for until he was assassinated in 1995.
“My father understood very well that freedom, economic stability, growth and development stem from internal strengths, unity and purpose,” Mr Rabin said.
“He fought for Israel’s security and he fought for individual’s welfare understanding one cannot come at the expense of the other. A nation’s strength is the sum of all its individual’s strength, “ Yuval added.
High point of the event was the presentations of Awards of Excellence to Ebonyi State Governor, Mr Dave Umahi and the Imo State APGA Governorship Candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume. Umahi was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe.