Rwanda advises Nigeria to learn from genocide experience
The High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to Nigeria Ambassador Joseph Habineza has called on Nigerians to learn from the genocide that led to loss of over a million citizens in the country.
He also called on terrorists and their sponsors in Nigeria to desist from such acts as they are capable of plunging Nigeria into an uncertain future.
He said this while delivering his speech during events marking the end of a week-long mourning period which started on April 7 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide held at the High Commission on Sunday in Abuja.
“The lessons that the world should learn from our tragedy are many and essential. I implore my friends and brothers- Nigerians to take notice. Nobody is born a killer, manipulations, brainwashing and bad leadership lead to genocide. I want the politicians of this country to put the country first than their own interests.
“Those who are backing terrorist groups should think twice. You know when you start those activities but you may not know how and when it will end. Why should people die due to religion, after all Islam and Christianity are not Nigerian inventions. Focus on what you have in common than the differences you have,” he said.
He charged Nigerians to resolve their problems using dialogue and putting the national interest first.
Recalling the incidence, the envoy said at the end of the 100 days of the genocide, perpetrated by the Hutu power mongers, which killed over a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus, it took the resilience and the never say die of the Rwandans to build a new Rwanda that everybody is celebrating today.
Habineza said after genocide Ugandans stay united, being accountable and thinking big and going back to their culture and tradition, they adopted their values to help them overcome challenges they were facing.
“…Gacaca helped in trial of genocide suspects, umuganda is helping in unity and development, ubudehe and girinka are helping in poverty alleviation, and many more home grown solutions helped to restore unity among Rwandans. We identify ourselves as “Umunyarwanda” and no longer as umuhutu, umututsi or Umutwa,” he said.
He added that Rwanda has made achievements in business, ICT house sector, agriculture, women empowerment, good governance, security to mention a few.
“For my fellow Africans, We have to think and act big, we think that it’s time for Africa to take responsibility of our destiny and not wait for outsiders to come and solve our problems!
The Rwandan experience should teach us to understand the world and know that in politics there is no permanent friendship but permanent interests! We should not be naive! Our natural and human resources should benefit us and not threaten us attracting civil wars, insurgencies and terrorism,” he admonished.
Nigeria’s former Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who was recognised for his role in alerting the world on the unfolding genocide in 1994, told journalists that Rwanda has made tremendous progress in renewal of unity, reconciliation, and reconstruction after the genocide.
He admonished Nigerians to learn from the Rwanda genocide citing some incidences of violence in Nigeria. “We cannot say it cannot happen here, it is already happening, so we must unite, we must stop the kind of situation we are facing in our country Nigeria, we must learn from Rwanda and stop practicing politics of exclusion.”
Rwanda High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr, Joseph Habineza, during the 20th commemoration of the genocide in Abuja.