The Nigerian government on Tuesday in Maputo pledged to assist in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Mozambique which was recently hit by tropical disaster called cyclone idai.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the pledge on Tuesday when he handed over relief items to Antonio Tchamo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration and Civil Servant of Mozambique at the National Institute of Disaster Management in Maputo.
Mr Onyeama, who led the federal government delegation to deliver relief materials to the Southern African countries of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbawe, said the gesture was part of efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to alleviate the sufferings of the people affected by the hurricane.
The minister explained that President Buhari directed him to deliver over 8,000 medical items, 35 tones of other relief materials and 500,000 US dollars to the government of Mozambique.
He said the measure was a show of brotherhood and solidarity to the people of Mozambique at this very critical time.
Mr Onyeama recalled that during the struggle against apartheid, Nigeria was considered a front line state.
He said “Whatever happens to any country in Africa, our Pan African sentiment is always with them.
“We will be with you at every step on the way towards rehabilitation and reconstruction process that will now take place,” the minister said.
“On behalf of the government and people of Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will like to express our deep sympathy to the government and people of Mozambique for the very tragic, loss of lives and properties, as well as injuries caused by the hurricane.
“The people of Mozambique at this time are very much in our thoughts and prayers.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has personally charged me to lead a delegation here to deliver to you some relief items and support and we hope that the relief materials and some cash will go a long way to to reduce the suffering of the victims of the disaster.”
Responding, Mr Tchamo explained that no fewer than 1.6 million people were affected and displaced by the disaster and 603 deaths recorded.
He also said that 16,200 people sustained various degree of injuries, more than 300,000 houses destroyed, 45,000 students affected, 3,600 schools affected and 93 health centres destroyed.
He thanked the Nigerian government for the donation and described it as a show of solidarity and brotherhood.
“We never doubt your solidarity and brotherhood since the time of struggle against colonialism.
“It is in the difficult moment that we know who is surrounding us.
“On behalf of the government and people of Mozambique, we will like to thank the government of Nigeria for this gesture.
“This moment is going to be recorded in our history and heart,” Tchamo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Onyeama after delivering the relief items in Mozambique proceeded to Zimbabwe to conclude the presidential assignment. (NAN)