Cyclone Idai: I Couldn’t Afford to Look Other Way Than Helping Zimbabwe – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed the reason behind the assistance rendered to Zimbabwe over cyclon attack that affected the country.

The attack left over one thousand people dead and many displaced.

Buhari disclosed this Thursday at State House, Abuja while receiving in farewell audience the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, His Excellency, Lovemore Mazemo.

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He further said the devastation that accompanied Cyclone Idai, which ravaged Zimbabwe earlier this year, was so enormous that Nigeria could not afford to look the other way, and had to offer a helping hand.

“It was a major disaster, and it caused damage in billions of dollars. Nigeria, despite our own challenges, had to provide aid to ameliorate the situation,” the President said, adding that he was glad that the outgoing Ambassador and his country appreciated the hand of fellowship.

The natural disaster ravaged Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi, and is believed to be the costliest natural disaster in South-West Indian Ocean basin. Goods and properties estimated at two billion dollars were lost.

President Buhari also recalled the role Nigeria played to secure the Independence of Zimbabwe from apartheid minority rule, noting: “We remain proud of what Nigeria did in those days.”

Speaking earlier, Ambassador Mazemo, who spent four-and-a-half years in Nigeria, said he found a home here, “and a family among your wonderful people.”


Speaking on the assistance given by Nigeria after the cyclone, he said it “went a long way to relieve our people,”.

He dded that relationship between the two countries had improved tremendously in recent years.

The Ambassador congratulated President Buhari on the confidence reposed in him by his people, making them to elect him twice, and equally lauded him for the leadership he has provided for Africa in the war against corruption.

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