Dean of Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Isaac Albert described the late former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, as a great Africanist.
In an interview with NAN in Lagos, Albert said that the African continent had a great deal to learn from Mugabe.
Mugabe died on Friday morning in a hospital in Singapore at age 95.
Alber said: “He was a great Africanist.
“We have several lessons to learn from him in articulating the African Union’s mantra of ‘African solutions to African problems’.
“He blocked undue foreign interference in the affairs of his country. This is commendable.”
Albert, an expert in peace and conflict studies, however, said that Mugabe made some costly mistakes which would affect the development of his country in years to come.
According to him, Mugabe took lands from white farmers and gave them to a black population with no capacity to make good use of the resource.
“This partly contributed to the collapse of the country’s economy.
“This is the age of globalisation; by shutting his country against the outside world, he denied Zimbabwe the best,” he stated.
The don added that Mugabe was intolerant of opposition which, he said, hurt Zimbabwe a great deal.
“I hope other Africanists would learn from these.”
Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe since independence, was ousted in a military coup in 2017 after 37 years in power.
Reports say Mugabe had been receiving treatment since April.
Meanwhile, a political scholar, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, has described the death of Mugabe as a tragedy of a revolutionary African leader, who became an oppressor.
According to Olukotun, Mugabe did not know when to quit office and, therefore, allowed the good that he had done be counterbalanced by the evil and ugly drama of staying too long in office.
“He came to power as an anti-colonialist and leader of a revolutionary party.
“Nigeria even assisted his party in those times.
“For a few decades, he did well and there were hopes of a new beginning for Zimbabwe.
“However, the tragedy of his later years was that of a population repressed, famished and put under the iron rule.
“He even tried to make his leadership a family affair by attempting to hand over to his wife.
“That is the case of a leader who started well, but ended in an unfortunately bad way,’’ the scholar said.
Olukotun added that history would continue to remember the good things Mugabe did in Africa in his early years.