Nigeria’s Vice President says former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe stood out as a leader because of his zeal, passion and selfless commitment to the emancipation of his people and the self realisation of black people everywhere.
Professor Yemi Osinbajo said this on arrival in Harare on Friday night to attend the funeral of the late African leader.
“Nigeria most respectfully condoles with the Republic of Zimbabwe on the passing of President, Robert Mugabe, who led the republic and her people to freedom and majority rule alongside so many other patriots. His legacy of determined, proud and assertive black emancipation will live long in the hearts of Africans.
”We wish the people of Zimbabwe great peace and prosperity,” the Vice President wrote, on behalf of Nigeria on the condolence register for Mugabe at the airport.
Professor Osinbajo also spoke with Zimbabwean journalists who approached him at the Harare International Airport, saying Mugabe was “not only a great encouragement to the independent movements everywhere but more to the self-realisation for black people practically everywhere. So, his passing is indeed sad.
“I think that for most of us, especially those who are leaders today.”
He said; “for the whole of Africa, the memories of the years of decolonisation, the years of the struggle for black majority rule in various places are years that bring joy and confidence to most of us, especially leaders today.
“So, his passing is indeed sad. I think that for most of us, especially those who are leaders today, there’s a lot to learn from such an incredibly illustrious career, especially the role that he played in decolonisation.
“And, of course, alongside the work that was done, not just by the frontline states, but by the likes of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and so many other African patriots; their lives and times, especially during the period of the struggle for black majority rule in Southern Africa and the support that other African countries gave, especially sub-Saharan African countries; Nigeria being, as you’ve noted, a frontline state.
“There are times when I think we should be extremely proud of what we achieved as black people.”
Vice President Osinbajo is Harare to represent President Muhammadu Buhari at Mugabe’s funeral.