Zvamaida Murwira in Abuja, NIGERIA
Zimbabwe should emulate Nigeria whose citizens managed to find each other and resolve their domestic problems through dialogue for the country to focus on economic development, Harare’s ambassador to Abuja Mr Lovemore Mazemo has said.
He said there was need to take heed of the call by President Mnangagwa to rise above parochial political differences and focus on addressing challenges collectively that would inevitably turn around the fortunes of the country.
Mr Mazemo said this at Eagle Square in Abuja, on the sidelines of Nigeria’s Democracy Day which marked the beginning of civilian rule in 1999 in the West African country after decades of military government since attaining independence from Britain in 1960.
Zimbabwe was represented by Vice President Kembo Mohadi who joined several Heads of State and Government or their representatives to observe the day together with Nigerians led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari delivered a keynote address where he called on Nigerians to remain united as unity consolidated nation building efforts underpinned by economic development.
“We see here an example of a country addressing their own domestic issues, understanding one another, engaging in dialogue in terms of governance to achieve political cohesion. This underlines what our leader, His Excellency President Mnangagwa has said about the importance of dialogue, that it is pertinent to consider national issues regardless of political or other inclinations or allegiance,” said Mr Mazemo.
He said Nigeria picked up the pieces arising from the procrastinated turmoil brought about as a result of military rule and found common ground when it eventually attained civilian rule in 1999.
So, there is a good example to learn here, we are able to address our own issues separating political issues ahead of national issues,” he said.
President Mnangagwa has since engaged presidential election candidates that participated in the July 31, 2018 harmonised elections, but MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa has refused to come to the table, claiming that the polls were not free and fair.
This is despite the fact that several national and international organisations such as Sadc, African Union, Comesa and other countries gave the elections a clean bill of health.
In his speech yesterday, President Buhari proposed to name Abuja Stadium after the late Chief Abiola in honour of his fight for democracy.
Several Nigerians and opinion leaders spoken to yesterday, who include politicians, lawyers and labour movement leaders said their country was on the right path to achieve its national goals.
Nigeria Labour Congress president Mr John Uche commended President Buhari for his resolve to uphold democracy.
A legal practitioner, Mr Obinna Ezeocha, said African countries could take home some lessons from Nigeria.