By Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
A former Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, has taken the case of the disturbing wave of xenophobic attacks to the October Session of the International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace (IPTP) holding in Ethiopia.
Speaking at the opening plenary of the parliament in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Ekweremadu, who Chairs the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee of the IPTP, urged the Parliament to pay special attention to problem of xenophobic attacks on the African continent.
He said “Since we are holding this session in Africa, permit me to mention the issue of xenophobia, a development that worries me. There is a growing trend in acts and incidences of intolerance, which is destroying the brotherhood, peace, and mutual relationship among the people of Africa. As a special Parliament focusing on tolerance and peace, we will not close our eyes to the cases of xenophobia wherever it exists.
“I also appeal to our brothers and sisters in Africa to not only continue to tolerate, but to also respectfully accept one another as one people with a common destiny.”
Ekweremadu who is also a former Speaker of the Parliament of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, however, commended the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Ahmed Abiy, for his efforts at promoting tolerance and peace in the East African nation;as well as for ending Ethiopia’s 20-year hostilities with Eritrea.
“It is instructive that the efforts of this Government to engender peace was recently recorgnised with the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Excellency, Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, for driving the deal that ended the nearly 20-year old border hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“Congratulations to him and the people of Ethiopia on this heart-lifting accomplishment. I hope that our presence and work here will help to reinforce Ethiopian Government’s policy of preaching and working for tolerance with its neighbours, which is yielding peace.
“I also hope that the Prime Minister’s vision of tolerance and peace will transcend the East African region and impact the rest of Africa. And it is my hope that other leaders will emulate his exemplary leadership”.
He also expressed satisfaction with the impact and expansion of the International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace since its inauguration in Malta in July 2018 and commended the President of the mother organisation, the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace (GCTP) Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Jarwan, for the successes recorded by both the Parliament and the General Council of the GCTP.