Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has described former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, as a renowned icon of peace and a great son of Africa.
In a tribute to Mr Annan who died Saturday at the age of 80, Mr Jonathan noted that his extensive reforms reinvigorated the UN systems and positively impacted international relations.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Kofi Annan, a world renowned icon of peace and diplomacy. He was a distinguished and accomplished international public servant and one of Africa’s most prominent diplomats,” Mr Jonathan said in a statement by his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze.
“As the United Nations Secretary-General, Annan introduced far-reaching reforms that reinvigorated the UN systems and positively impacted international relations.
“A consummate diplomat, Annan successfully managed the contending powers in the UN and stood firmly for development, human rights and a peaceful world; a commitment that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
“Even after leaving active service, Annan remained robustly engaged in promoting good governance, diplomacy, mediation, and humanitarian services. His demise is a sad loss to Africa and the World.”
In his reaction, a former Nigerian vice president, Atiku Abubakar, described Mr. Annan as a quintessential promoter of global peace, a great African, an astounding diplomat and one of the leading lights in the African continent of this century.
Mr Abubakar, in a statement by his media office, called on Africans of the present generation to emulate Mr Anan’s commitment to the well- being and development of the African continent while serving as chief scribe of the United Nations.
The presidential aspirant said even after retirement from the services of the UN, Mr Annan never retired from playing critical international roles that advanced the well-being of Africa and the world.
In his reaction, a former Minister of External Affairs and one-time under-secretary
general at the United Nations, Ibrahim Gambari, expressed
sadness on the death Mr Annan whom he described as a friend,
brother and former boss.
“The departed scribe of the UN will be remembered for his humane and
compassionate nature. He fought for the interest of Africa and
humanity in general. History will not forget him as one international
figure that devoted his time, energy and intellect to minimizing
global conflicts and humanitarian challenges. He showed great
compassion in preventing conflicts and promoting peace building.
“Throughout my interaction with him, he never raised his voice in
anger. I enjoyed a robust relationship with him on the job. I pray
that he finds peace with his Creator,” Mr Gambari said in a statement by his aide, Tajudeen Kareem.
In his reaction to Mr Annan’s death, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, said the late UN scribe will be remembered for his remarkable role in ensuring stability of democratic governments in Africa.
Mr Tinubu, in a statement by his media officer, Tunde Rahman, said the late Mr Annan initiated interventions in conflict resolution around the world, aimed at achieving world peace.
According to him, Mr Annan was Africa’s gift to the world and a wonderful servant to the international community.
”The death of former Secretary-General of UN, Mr Kofi Annan, in Bern, Switzerland today, August 18, 2018, is a loss to Africa and the entire world because of all that he represented.
”In his lifetime, Kofi Annan distinguished himself as an international statesman, global icon, finest diplomat and tireless champion of human rights for all.
”His time at the UN was also remarkable for his role in ensuring stability of democratic governments in Africa and intervention in conflict resolution around the world aimed at achieving world peace.
”His diplomatic achievements, both before or after becoming the UN Secretary-General, are legion,” he said.
Mr Tinubu said late Annan spearheaded several initiatives on Africa, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
”Specifically, he will be remembered for his important contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Also, he will be remembered for his commitment to defending vulnerable populations the world over, demonstrated by his key role in the development of the UN’s epoch-making Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
“He provided leadership in developing the Millennium Development Goals, which made poverty eradication an achievable global imperative.
“He lived true to his reputation and recognition as Noble Peace Prize Laureate because he was an advocate of world peace and development throughout,” he said.