LAGOS: NIGERIANS have welcomed the elevation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as the new chairman of the African Union.
Christians, Muslims and traditional people interviewed by Africa’s premier news service, CAJ News expressed satisfaction in Mugabe’s appointment saying he was a proponent of economic independence.
“Mugabe is the real man for Africa! He is not a pretender like the majority of other African leaders, who just talk. He is a man of action….and that is what we want.
“Mugabe heads one of the smaller nations in Africa, but we all (Africans) love him for what he stands for. Mugabe is not a cheap leader who is easily elbowed by the so-called superpowers of this world, especially the West.
“He defends his country and continent while other African leaders put their tails between legs in fear of losing food handouts and donations from the West,” said Pastor Charles Okwonkwo of the Evangelical Ministry in Lagos.
Chief Emeka Adenigba, who said the continent needed many leaders of Mugabe’s calibre in order to attain “total” economic independence, echoed the sentiments.
“Africa desperately needs at least four more Mugabes in all four geographic corners of the continent. Once we have four strong regional leaders for Southern, West, East and North Africa……then we can safely say the continent has been completely liberated, otherwise for now, we look up to Mugabe’s salvation,” Adenigba said.
Ijoma Mmaduakor of Abuja said as much as she was Nigerian, she admired the boldness of Mugabe’s approach to both political and economic issues.
Mmaduakor said Mugabe’s leadership was tried and tested in that he fought against colonialism as opposed to the new breed of African leaders, who she said only cared about receiving donations from the West while indirectly losing their vast of mineral resources.
“As a continent, I believe now is the time to open up our eyes and smell the coffee! Mugabe is not the real enemy for Zimbabwe’s economic downturn, but the real enemy is the West, who imposed illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe for reclaiming its land from colonialists.
“The West did it in a very well calculated manner designed to instill fear among other African nations. This sabotage is used as a testimony to each and every African nation not to emulate, or else, your economies will be like that of Zimbabwe,” said Mmaduakor.
“Now, I think Africa has another opportunity of learning from Mugabe and how best we can start reclaiming our land, mineral resources as well as change laws in order to bar foreign companies from taking away money generated from Africa. Through President Mugabe, I strongly believe the Africa we want can always be attained,” added Mmaduakor.
Members of the main opposition political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), said Mugabe’s election as the AU chairman was “a huge blessing for Africa.”
“The reason why I like Mugabe much was the West, especially Britain and the US’ unreserved condemnation of a leader of a small African country. Imagine all superpowers of this world ganging up against a third world country – Zimbabwe? To me, there was more to it than meets the eye,” said an APC official in Borno State.
In a separate interview, a senior official for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) welcomed the appointment.
“Admittedly, Mugabe’s vision for Africa, and that of former South African President Thabo Mbeki were unmatched, but it is being appreciated when he (Mugabe) is old now. We hope new African leaders to be groomed will emulate what Mugabe, Julius Nyerere, Nkwame Nkrumah and others stood for.”
SOURCE: CAJ News Agency