President Muhammadu Buhari visits the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda on June 23, 2022. Credit: State House.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda.
After visiting the site, he asked Nigerians to tolerate one another and embrace peace, his presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said via a statement.
The remains of over 250,000 victims of the Kigali genocide were buried in the East African country in 1994 with a yearly event held in honour of the slain Rwandans.
Buhari used the opportunity of the visit to tour the permanent exhibitions at the Memorial, paying tribute to the memory of the victims while praying for healing for the survivors.
After the historic visit, the President 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 Nigeria 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,” the Nigerian leader was quoted as saying.
“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.”
Before departing, the President 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 atrocity anywhere in the world and believes that perpetrators of such crimes; and their enablers, anywhere in the world must be held accountable.”
President Buhari is in Kigali, Rwanda to participate in the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).