Nigerian youths to petition ED over rights abuses

COVID-19 tests u-turn
President Emmerson Mnangagwa


NIGERIAN youths have vowed to mobilise civic organisations in Africa’s most populous nation to picket the Zimbabwean embassy in Abuja over human rights abuses by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Godbless Otubure, who is the global president of the ReadyToLeadAfrica movement, said there was need to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in the face of human rights violations in the country.

Otubure was speaking during a discussion forum which was hosted by the African Youths Solidarity Alliance (AYSA) and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) on Saturday.

He called on youths from across Africa to mobilise and push for an amicable solution to the Zimbabwean crisis, adding that the ReadyToLead Africa would petition the African Union over human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

“I am going to work with civic leaders here (Nigeria) and engage the Zimbabwean ambassador to Nigeria on the Zimbabwean crisis,” Otubure said.

“We are going to petition the African Union and the Southern Africa Development Community as a way of engaging them to see how we can have a lasting solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.”

Speaking at the same event, Melene Rossouw, who is executive director of Women Lead Movement in South Africa, said it was imperative for African youths to mobilise and ensure there is democracy and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe.

Lukeno Hangala (Namibia), who is protection officer at the Southern Africa Refugees Protection, said the Zimbabwean crisis had several ramifications across the Sadc region, hence the need for youths from across the region to coalesce and find a lasting solution to the crisis.

She also highlighted that government brutality on its citizens had led to a huge number of Zimbabweans flocking to Namibia.

The director of Youth Forum (Zimbabwe) as well as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition deputy chairperson, Ashton Bumhira, said youths in Zimbabwe needed to go beyond political boundaries and find common ground.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been under pressure from the international, regional and local organisations over his government’s gross human rights violations.