The Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has expressed shock at the death of former Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru.
Mr. Ashiru died at the age of 66 in a South Africa hospital after long battle with a brain related illness. His death was announced on Saturday.
Governor Orji in a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ajunwa, described Mr. Ashiru’s demise as a big loss to the country.
The Governor who described late Mr. Ashiru as a consummate diplomat, said Nigeria has lost an outspoken career diplomat whose contributions to national development and diplomacy were very outstanding.
He extolled the deceased for laying the needed groundwork which saw Nigeria being elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2013.
According to him, the former Foreign Affairs Minister played a key role in the diplomatic face-off between Nigeria and South Africa in 2012 over the deportation of 125 Nigerians for not possessing valid yellow fever vaccination certificates. Both countries later resolved their differences.
The governor consoled members of his immediate family, state, the country and all those affected directly or indirectly by his death to take solace in the fact that he died a committed Christian.