China, Rwanda Pushing for Stronger Bilateral Ties with Nigeria, Say Envoys

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, at the New Year Celebration of China in Abuja at the weekend, said the country was unrelenting in its push for stronger ties with Nigeria.
Jianchun while stating that the year is symbolised by the dragon sign, said it would create an opportunity for China and Nigeria to strengthen their relationship through shared ambitions.

He said: “I want to use the letters (dragon) to describe the relationship between our countries. ‘D’ is about development. The two countries are working to develop the nation. We believe that without development, we cannot achieve individual and societal progress.

“R is to revitalise, ‘A’ is for assistance, ‘G’ is for guidance, ‘O’ is for opportunity and ‘N’ is for nationalism,” he said.
According to him, the two countries would continue to revitalise their economy, as well as open opportunities for development and work toward nationalism.
Also speaking at the event, the former Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe, commended China for always projecting its rich culture, saying the country shares many things with Nigeria.
He said: Both China and Nigeria are culturally diverse nations. China has 56 official ethnic groups while Nigeria has close to 400 ethnic groups, each with its unique cultural peculiarities.”

Runsewe said Nigeria has a lot of historical and heritage sites that can be upgraded to serve as recreational, religious and commercial sites comparable to the Chinese Temple Fair.
He explained that: “This is why we must strengthen our cultural ties with China so as to tap from their cultural expertise.”
Chinese New Year 2024 will fall on Saturday, February 10, 2024, starting a year of the Wood Dragon. As a public holiday, Chinese people will get 8 days off from work from February 10 to February 17 in 2024.

Meanwhile, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Christophe Bazivamo has expressed his country’s continued commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Nigeria.
Bazivamo said this at the weekend during the celebration of Rwanda’s 30th National Heroes Day in Abuja.
The envoy said Rwanda and Nigeria have weathered several storms of adversity, adding that both can build a brighter future for its people by shared experiences and expertise.

He said: “It is also fitting to restate our appreciation for the strong bonds of friendship and excellent bilateral cooperation marked by fruitful partnerships in various areas, including parliamentary diplomacy, defence and security, aviation, governance, sectoral peer-to-peer exchange, and trade and investment.
“As the new High Commissioner of Rwanda to Nigeria, I am committed to further strengthening this vital bilateral relationship. By working together and sharing our experiences and expertise, together we can build a brighter future for our people.”

Bazivamo who spoke on the theme ‘Our Heroism, Our Dignity’, said the history of Rwanda was built on the values of resilience, unity, and dignity.

He noted: “On this day, we reflect on the sacrifices of those who came before us, those who fought for our freedom, unity, and progress, those have embodied the highest values of patriotism for our country and Rwandans.”

The High Commissioner also said Rwanda, since the 1994 genocide, has embarked on a transformational journey, insisting that: “We have emerged from the ashes of genocide to become a nation of peace, unity, and progress.”

The High Commissioner explained that Rwanda is committed to fostering mutually beneficial partnerships with other countries.

He said: “There are investment opportunities in Rwanda that can be tapped into in the sectors of manufacturing, ICT, real estate, agriculture and agribusiness, tourism, and hospitality, amongst others.”

Rwanda’s National Heroes Day is held every year on February 1, honouring the exceptional Rwandans who demonstrated the highest values of patriotism and sacrifice and made significant contributions to nation-building, liberation, and unity.

It serves as an opportunity to reflect on their legacy, inspire future generations, and reaffirm Rwanda’s commitment to building a better future for all.

The Rwandan genocide, also known as the Genocide Against the Tutsi, occurred between April 7 and  July 4, 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War, a period where members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group, as well as some moderate Hutu and Twa, were killed by armed Hutu militias.

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