PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe may perhaps have to find another phrase to describe Nigeria after he was humiliated by a group of journalists who took him to task over his prolonged stay in power and lack of democracy in Zimbabwe.
As soon as Mugabe and his entourage had arrived for president Buhari’s inauguration, Nigerian journalists swarmed around his vehicle to ask a barrage of provocative questions, in apparent contempt for the 91-year old strongman.
Was Mugabe happy to be in Nigeria? What was his feeling over the fact that he was in Abuja to witness a democratic handover of power when there was no such in his own country? When was he going to step down considering he had ruled for over three decades? the journalists wanted to know.
A video footage of the incident showed Mugabe, then seated at the back of his official vehicle, smiling and willing to engage, telling the scribes that he was indeed happy to be in Nigeria.
But as soon as it dawned on him that he had been ambushed and that the questions were meant to humiliate him his mood changed, with the irascible Mugabe coming close to bursting out.
A visibly miffed Mugabe struggled to keep his cool as the Nigerians scolded him, with one lady journalist shouting loudly, ‘there is no democracy in Zimbabwe’.
Confused members of the CIO close security unit could be seen struggling to protect their proud master against the determined Nigerians with one body guard speaking in Shona, saying mirai, mirai (wait, wait).
The ambush on the Zimbabwean leader came as no surprise after Mugabe, last year, kicked up brouhaha by calling Nigeria a ‘corrupt nation’.
Mugabe’s comments about Nigeria then forced Abuja to summon Zimbabwe’s envoy to seek an explanation.
Mugabe was in Abuja in his capacity as the African Union chairperson.
In 2008, Mugabe was ambushed by a British journalist Julian Manyon in Egypt after an election which was boycotted by the opposition over violence.
An irate Mugabe dismissed a persistent Manyon as a “bloody idiot”.