The Rwanda genocide, Nigeria’s political elites and lessons from other land: AN EDITORIAL


African Union leader Moussa Faki (from left), Rwandan President Paul Kagame, his wife Jeannette and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker light a remembrance flame to mark the 25th anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, on Sunday 7 April 2019. Photo: AFP.


“As a media organization that is a stakeholder in the nation’s system, The DEFENDER lies in wait to see how the government will handle this open irresponsibility on the part of the politicians as it is capable of making even those who strongly believe in it to begin to question their affirmed patriotism if the government fails to act fast.”


It is over two decades now that Rwanda had overcome its genocide experience, according to the 25th anniversary of the massive slaughter marked last week 7 April 2019.  What is sad is that, the country continues to feel the scars of that horrible situation where over 800,000 people were massacred by no other cause but hate speeches mounted by state leaders.

The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War, directed by members of the Hutu majority government between 7 April and 15 July 1994. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, about 70% of the Tutsi population.

The good news however is that every single citizen in the street of Ligali has learned from the sad, ugly past and is now taking patriotism as vital saying good, positive things about their country and showing love to fellow country people.  Never again would they want to have such experience.  That is the resolve of average Rwandan person.  And so the government and people are on the same page rebuilding the country and, if Nigerians fail to sit up, that country may be doing much better than Nigeria in no distant time therefore.

Over two decades before that, Nigeria had a Civil War equally necessitated by the same cause as of Rwanda but 49 years after the war, many Nigerians are still heard loudly uninterested in United Nigeria Project for development of the country.  They allow themselves to be obsessed with doctrine of #CorruptionIsOurWay and fervently defend the corruption spearheaded by same leaders, whose way it is to spur them to hate speeches and irredeemable unpatriotism, thereby plunging Nigeria, almost five decades after the civil war, into situation where the government sits on one page and the people as well as the media and members of the bench/bar stay on another.

It must however be acknowledged that there are also many Nigerians and few other media; broadcasting, print and digital who are on the same page with the government although to the risk of their individual economies.  Such standing, with a government that fights corruption, blocks wastes, cuts costs that Nigeria may move forward, is economically risky.  The people working against the government are the powers behind economy and so they would not patronize the media or individual professionals supporting the government but, despite their patronage, those patriots continue to push forward because, it is a resolve, particularly of The DEFENDER, that one rather gets martyrdom on the side of integrity than die unrewardingly on the side of the crooks.

However, it is high time the Nigerian political elites start to place Nigeria’s interest above personal interest.  In doing that, they gain more than insistently thriving and advancing on the blood of innocent, thinking that is the way to attain their permanent grip in the Ownership of Nigeria.  It pays no one, not even themselves! Yes! Because, this is era of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and so, there is nothing, no evil that anyone plots or mulls any longer which is not already in the know of the public.  In the end, who ends in shame and permanent damage if not the unpatriotic elites?

All the crises, which permeated the political space of the country since 30 May 2015 simply because those sent out of power on 29 May 2015 were unyielding not to accept defeat, have been discovered to be handiwork of no other but activities of the people President Muhammadu Buhari, who sent them parking by over 15 millions Nigerian votes, described as “irresponsible politicians”.  That description fitted more when it started unfolding as politicians who signed an accord for pre, during and post elections peace themselves breached the accord at will, and surprisingly, the media that supposed to be whistleblowers in that regard became complacent and acted not.

Or how a society like Nigeria can explain a co-contender in an election, who went to hark the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) believing that on the basis of that, the Presidential Election Tribunal will upturn the victory of the contest, whereas, INEC made it clear that it did not conduct the election electronically and so results of it could not have been electronically generated on its server?  And there is yet any of those media, which hyped the erring politician’s fallacies against the sitting government and President, seen to featurise in the prints or host radio and television interviews and discussions highlighting, exposing that ferocious lawlessness and mounting pressure on government to move against the candidate by arresting and prosecuting him, like it would have done if any member of government or ruling party were to be the culprit.

Rather, they still went ahead to back him in his fresh plot, lobbying the same United States Government, which he earlier co-opted in virtually causing mutiny over the former CJN Walter Onnoghen’s suspension, to now recognize him as “authentic President-elect” in an election which winner INEC had since declared with Certificate of Return issued and presented.  Worst still is that this same contender is already before the Tribunal seeking to be declared winner.  It therefore portends a scenario that he and people behind him know they have no case but must use any confusion means best possible to intimidate institutions of government, including the judiciary and INEC, to get him to power.

As a media organization that is a stakeholder in the nation’s system, The DEFENDER lies in wait to see how the government will handle this open irresponsibility on the part of the politicians as it is capable of making even those who strongly believe in it to begin to question their affirmed patriotism if the government fails to act fast.

To the elites and other citizens of the country, therefore, realizing that the killings in Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Rivers states are strictly based on their desperation to reclaim control of the nation’s wealth and political powers regardless of the law, let them remember they have heated the polity enough to have Rwanda happen here if not that the government in power has been so meticulously patient ,steady about its measures.  In no distant time therefore, the government will have no excuse for not taking action against these political elements because, no one does not know that it knows a lot of the people behind the killings and confusions.

The DEFENDER will stand by the government on any such action it takes against anybody its security and intelligence institutions have indicted on the horrible situation so that Nigeria will enter the Next Level with peace.

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