Godswill Akpabio, President of the Nigerian Senate at the 148th Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

By Eseme Eyiboh

President of Nigeria’s Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON has in faraway Geneva, Switzerland at the ongoing 148th Session of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) took the bull by the horns when in an audacious display of depth and the Nigerian spirit called for action towards an enduring ceasefire and peace in Gaza. Akpabio was unequivocal in declaring that the time to end the carnage in Gaza is now and all hands must be on the deck.

According to the President of the Senate, there is time for everything and the present circumstances demand all nations to rise above sentiments and invoke the spirit of humanity, by doing all it requires to bring sustainable peace to the region.

Akpabio, whose contributions evoked a whirlwind of emotions at the session, attracted comments from a wide spectrum of the global community. As the head of Nigerian delegation, which included the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu and other lawmakers from both the Senate and House of Representatives, Akpabio unequivocally spoke with clarity of mind and certain terms, setting the tone for robust and fruitful deliberations on the war in Gaza, which has so far left children and women killed, shelling of more than two-thirds of Northern Gaza and annihilation of the entire population.

This contribution has brought out the best of humanity in Senator Akpabio; his milk of kindness and compassion was brought to bare as he sought for the return of humanitarian aid, and restoration of normal life to Gaza, as well as meetings on a permanent truce.

Akpabio’s presentation at the IPU is a testimony to the fact that Nigeria has regained her voice in the comity of nations and is poised to take her pride of place as the giant of Africa. The era of playing second fiddle and being muzzled by smaller nations on the continent is effectively over, courtesy of the ostentatious, courageous and purposeful leadership exemplified in the ilks of the Akpabios.

READ: Parliamentary diplomacy: Akpabio takes Nigeria to world stage at IPU

His presentation was awe-inspiring words and like John the Baptist, the voice of one nation crying in the wilderness that the world should rise up and take a proactive decision. He said “Madam President, this is a lone voice from Nigeria. We tried our best in Angola and we failed to lend a collective voice to what is happening in Gaza. Today, the world is very expectant. We must drop our ego. It has nothing to do with which country brings the proposal. The basic tenets of humanity demands that we leave here with a resolution for the rest of the world, to show that we have human feelings in us.

“The issues are very clear. If you notice the proposal for 12 blocs; they attempted to even marry the proposals from South Africa. Yes! South Africa has a right to be emotional, but we have children who are dying even as we are talking now. We have people who do not have water to drink even as we are talking now. We have people who are going to suffer infection from gunshots”.

Hitting the nail on the head, the leader of the Nigerian delegation submitted that humanity must not be lost on the altar of emotions. Humanity must be expressed, demonstrated and its impact felt. According to Akpabio, “We have to show the world that we are human beings. The cessation of hostilities must be a part of our resolutions. Access to humanitarian aid must be a part of our resolutions. At the same time, release of hostages and even those who are Prisoners of War, because if both sides take steps in releasing the hostages, releasing the Prisoners of War, it means that both sides have agreed that the International Community can go to the next stage, which is negotiation for sustainable peace.

“If they cannot agree, I would urge that from here, we have a three-man drafting committee to come up with those resolutions which we must make before we leave here. We can no longer allow a child to die tonight, without lending our voice. It doesn’t matter which side. We are all parents. If we come here to look for ego and then try to be emotional, it’s not affecting them.

“Nothing is affecting Denmark, there’s nothing affecting South Africa. The people affected are over there and nobody will agree to the lone resolution from Israel. It must be all-encompassing, so that we stand up from here as human beings. That would be my plea.

“Let them go aside, meet and remove those vexatious items. In the course of their discussions, we can have amendments, we can add items that we should add but we must discuss the Gaza issue in this 148th IPU Assembly. That is my position,” he declared.

This is incisive and denotative. It means Nigeria is no longer playing at the periphery but in the mainstream of global legislative politics and it must be heard loud and clear. As the 148th Session of the IPU comes to a close, delegates from the member nations would depart with an indelible message, the call by Senator Godswill Akpabio that sanity must return to Gaza.

Rt. Hon Eseme Eyiboh is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and the official Spokesperson to the President of the Senate.

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