President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to tolerate one another and embrace peace.
He made the appeal yesterday after visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda.
- FACT CHECK: INEC doesn’t operate voter registration centres in Niger Republic
- We value Nigeria’s democracy, security because of its regional importance—Nuland
Buhari, according to a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, toured the permanent exhibitions at the memorial and laid a wreath at the mass graves where more than 250,000 victims of the genocide were buried.
Nigeria has been battling with cases of terrorism, banditry and other insecurity challenges which have been fueling ethnic profiling in recent times.
The statement said the president also paid tribute to the memory of the victims and prayed for healing for the survivors.
Buhari, after the historic visit, told journalists that the lessons from his visit were the need for Nigerians to continue to be tolerant of one another, and for the nation to also preserve its own historical antecedents from the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970).
‘‘I went through all the experiences from 15 January 1966 to date. I was a governor, minister, and Head of State and went through detention. I returned to partisan politics and will finish my two terms as constitutionally allowed.
‘‘We fought a 30-month bitter civil war and we killed about a million of each other. Nigeria went through this kind of terrible development process,” he said.
The president, before departing, also wrote in the visitors’ book: ‘Remembering the victims of this dark history of the Rwanda Genocide, we pray that humanity will never experience this kind of hatred, wickedness and violence toward others because of their ethnic background, religion, and beliefs.
‘‘Nigeria is strongly committed to the prevention of mass atrocities anywhere in the world and believes that perpetrators of such crimes; and their enablers, anywhere in the world must be held accountable.’’
Buhari is in Kigali, Rwanda, to participate in the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
He later held bilateral talks with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson.
He would attend the official opening of CHOGM on Friday, followed by high-level meetings of heads of state and government.