By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says that many world leaders are committed towards ensuring that there will never be a repeat of the type of genocide that happened in Rwanda.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke with newsmen shortly after participating in the activities of the 25th Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide held in Kigali on Sunday.
The vice president said that the resurgence of hate speech, racism, nationalism and all identity type problems around the world today was frightening.
Osinbajo said that the rise in hate speech and racism had become a compelling reason to reflect on what happened in Rwanda 25 years ago.
“The resurgence of hate speech is frightening for everyone we see in different countries not just in Africa but also in Europe.
“So, I think that there are many leaders today who want to ensure that we do not ever see a repeat of what happened, the genocide that happened here in Rwanda or anywhere else in the world for that matter.”
The vice president said leaders across different sections of society must caution against acts that incited and caused disorder.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had emphasised repeatedly on the need for caution, especially in terms of speech that could incite.
“I think that it is important, that we recognise, especially for the people, religious leaders and politicians.
“It is important that we recognise sometimes that it is easy to push things to the tipping point to create a situation just by inciting words that can completely go out of control.
“I think we have learnt; a lot of us, a lot of African countries do not want to see a repeat of what happened in Rwanda.
“If you listened to some of the speeches here today, it is very obvious that the wounds for Rwanda were very deep and they are still healing.
“So, at 25 years on, you can still feel the pain, you can still hear in their speeches, in their voices and in their experiences, this is still a very deep wound,’’ he said.
Osinbajo prayed that the world never experienced such a thing anywhere, but stressed that it depended on leadership and on how leaders behaved themselves.
Earlier at the Kigali Genocide Memorial event, Osinbajo, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo and some world leaders laid wreaths and performed the lighting of the memorial flame to mark the day.
Kagame, had earlier in his remark at the memorial, recalled the efforts and courage of Nigeria and other states that made the calls to stop the genocide.
“We owe respect to those who had the courage to do the right thing; our people, other people that also stood up and made a difference.
“The ambassador from Czech Republic joined colleagues from New Zealand and Nigeria to call for action to stop the genocide despite the indifference of more powerful States,” Kagame was quoted as saying.
Other world leaders and dignitaries present at the event include the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso; President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Also in attendance were President of the European Union Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker; Former Presidents of Nigeria and South Africa, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki, among others.