Next week, the Federal Government of Nigeria and 56 other member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are expected to meet to discuss pressing issues affecting Muslims especially rising cases of Islamophobia. This was announced on the website of the OIC, an organisation of nations which works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.” According to the OIC, the Presidents of all member countries are expected to be in attendance at the 14th Ordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah Al-Mukarramah which begins on May 31, 2019 in Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, It could not be confirmed if President Muhammadu Buhari, who only returned from the lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday would be returning next week or would send a representative. Apart from Islamophobia, member countries are also expected to discuss the Israel/Palestine crisis following the decision of the United States to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The declaration read in part, “It is expected that the Islamic Summit will issue ‘Makkah Declaration’ and the Final Communiqué, which will address many current issues in the Muslim world.
“Leaders are expected to consider the position of OIC member states on the latest developments in the Palestinian question, and announce a unified stance on recent developments in a number of OIC member States. “They are also expected to take clear stances on the recent events regarding Muslim communities and minorities, the mounting discourse of hatred against Muslim communities, Islamophobia, the need to counter terrorism and violent extremism, and other political, economic, cultural and social issues of interest to the OIC.” The Session will be chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the two holy mosques, according to the declaration.
The ordinary session of the Islamic Summit shall be convened under the theme: “Makkah Al-Mukarramah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future”. It will be attended by the leaders of OIC member states to evolve a unified stance on the ongoing issues and events in the Muslim world. The summit will be preceded by a senior official meeting, which will submit the outcomes of its deliberations to the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of OIC member states due to be held in Jeddah on May 29, 2019. The ministers will submit the draft Final Communiqué to the Islamic Summit for adoption.
During the time of Ibrahim Babangida, Military President, Nigeria became a member of the OIC and has remained a member ever since. The Christian Association of Nigeria has, however, asked the Federal Government to withdraw Nigeria from the OIC and from other international religious bodies and treaties Nigeria signed with such religious organisations, because it “violates the secular state of the nation as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria and further violates the government’s non-partisanship in religious matters as enshrined in the same constitution”.