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ambThe Rwandan Ambassador to Nigeria, Stanislas Kamanzi, has defended President Paul Kagame’s decision to seek a third term in office in a lecture he delivered at the American University of Nigeria, AUN, recently.

Speaking on “Two Decades of Inclusive Nation-Building”, Mr. Kamanzi defused fears that Rwanda is joining a sinister trend in Africa, in which political leaders hold on to power after their tenures have expired.

Currently, some African countries, including Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are suffering the effects of sit-tight leaders, and only last year in Burundi, the president’s decision to seek a third term caused violent clashes in the country.

However, Mr. Kamanzi expressed confidence that Rwanda would be different from these other African countries; he added that his country has come up with effective measures aimed at keeping the peace, reducing poverty, addressing cases of malnutrition as well as empowering women.

He also spoke of Umuganda, which he said, is a measure Rwanda initiated to reconcile the communities and people of the country.

The envoy added that “Resilience, soul-searching, tolerance, inclusiveness and consolidating a strong attitude” are some of the driving forces to building a great nation.  

The lecture was the first to be held in 2016 in the AUN Diplomatic Lecture Series initiated in 2011 as a forum for interaction between the diplomatic community in Nigeria and the University.

Other distinguished diplomats that have visited AUN include Ambassador Rolf Ree of the Kingdom of Norway, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel, Dr. Patrick Fay, the former Irish Ambassador to Nigeria and now faculty member at AUN, and the former European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. David Macrae, who has also joined AUN as Executive Vice President.

Others are Mr. Christopher Cooter, the Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Moshe Ram, the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, and Mr. Terence McCulley, a former US Ambassador to Nigeria. The current US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, spoke at AUN in October 2014.

By Ikechukwu Ilomuanya

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