Hundreds of Nigerians living in Rwanda convened at the Nigerian High Commissioner’s residence in Nyarutarama in Kigali on Monday to celebrate their country’s 58th Independence Day.
Nigerians, who were joined by Rwandans and other friends, including members of diplomatic missions accredited to Rwanda, were treated to a colourful celebration by High Commissioner Adamu Onoze Shuiabu.
Education Minister Eugene Mutimura was the guest of honour.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Onoze noted that the Nigerian spirit is vibrant today as it was 58 years ago–when they fought for their independence–and remain focused and determined to lead the west African country to greater success.
“As we celebrate today, we remember with pride, the nationalism and patriotism that inspired our founding fathers and Nigerian people… without whose effort and toil we would not have reaped the bounties of today. They set aside their differences to secure the unity and independence of our great country,” the envoy said.
He added: “Our citizens at home and abroad are making their mark in all fields of human endeavour. These hardworking and committed Nigerians remain a source of pride to us and beacon of what is achievable, as we remain focused and determined”.
The envoy noted that the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari continues to undertake a “remarkable effort” in tackling key pressing issues such as public safety and fending off the notorious terror group Boko Haram and rescuing its captives, pacifying the Niger Delta, fighting corruption, fighting financial crimes and implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and boosting power generation capacity, among others.
In his speech, Minister Mutimura commended President Buhari’s effort in championing the fight against corruption not only in Nigeria but across Africa by leading the anti-corruption caucus of the African Union reforms commission.
“We commend the progress registered under President Buhari’s stewardship and we look forward to working hand in hand with our Nigerian brothers and sisters to make the ‘Africa we want’ a reality,” Mutimura noted.
The event attracted Nigerians living in Rwanda and their friends.
Amb. Onoze noted thatm in addition to the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) agreement signed between Rwanda and Nigeria, which led to 19 Nigerian volunteers made of professors posted in various colleges under the University of Rwanda, the bilateral ties between the two countries are “at their best”.
The two countries signed a bilateral air service agreement (BASA) last May which allows RwandAir to fly to Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, while a military exchange training agreement is also in place, the envoy said.
“As I speak, four Rwanda military personnel are currently undergoing training at the Nigeria National Defence College while one Nigerian is undergoing his training at Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College, Musanze.
The Nigeria-Rwanda Permanent Joint Commission Agreement is still undergoing revitalisation, officials noted.