News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Buhari, Obasanjo, Tinubu mourn Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan: Tributes from Buhari, Obasanjo, Tinubu

By Lucy Osuizigbo/Olawale Jokotoye/Ismaila Chafe

Tributes continued to pour for late Mr Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, with messages from President Muhammadu Buhari, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Annan, United Nations Secretary-General between January 1997 and December 2006, died on Saturday aged 80.

The Kofi Annan Foundation said the former UN boss, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for humanitarian work, died in Switzerland, after a brief illness.

President Buhari who called Ghanaian leader, Nana Akufo-Addo before leaving London to offer his condolence, said all Nigerians and ECOWAS member countries share in the deep loss, considering the strategic influence of the former scribe in global affairs and his vision for repositioning the West Coast and Africa.

The President acknowledged that Annan was the first UN staff to lead the organisation, he was also a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN.

He noted that Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the UN’s bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.

President Buhari said Annan’s origin and home will always be traced to Ghana, but his exceptional leadership roles, humanitarian spirit and contributions to global peace and development will remain indelible in the history of the entire world.

He particularly lauded his efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa as well as the launch of the UN Global Compact.

The President also sent condolences to the wife of the diplomat, Nane Maria Annan and his family members, staff of the UN and the global organisations he was heading, like The Elders, which was founded by Nelson Mandela

Tinubu, said Kofi Annan will be remembered for his remarkable role in ensuring stability of democratic governments in Africa.

He said Annan initiated interventions in conflict resolution around the world, aimed at achieving world peace.

According to him, 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.

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.

Tinubu said Annan would be missed by all.

”He was also a loving husband and a doting father. He will be sorely missed, not only by his close family and friends, but by all Africans at home and in the Diaspora.

”On this day of his passing, I pay tribute to Kofi Annan, a truly modern statesman and an exemplar for all Africans who adhere to the principles of democracy, rule of law and justice for all.

”May his soul rest in perfect peace,” Tinubu said.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday described Annan as a global statesman, who dedicated his life to equity, justice, stability, security, human rights and other virtues that promote world peace.

In a statement issued in Abeokuta in reaction to the death of Annan, Obasanjo said he received the news with sadness and shock.

He noted that Annan’s lifestyle and qualities were responsible for his appointment as the UN Secretary General in 1997 as well as the Nobel Peace Price he won in 2001.

“I received the shocking news of the demise of former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with deep sadness as the loss of a brother and friend.

“I commiserate with the Annan family, particularly the Late Mr Annan’s widow, Nane Maria and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina.

“I equally commiserate with the government and people of Ghana; the Secretary-General and staff of the United Nations and indeed all lovers of peace and progress across the world, on this great loss,” he said.

He recalled Annan’s contributions to conflict resolution in Syria and Myanmar as UN and Arab League joint Special Envoy in Syria and as Chair of the UN Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

Obasanjo noted that Annan, in both cases, respectively demonstrated his statesmanship and diplomacy, adding that he was also dedicated, firm and just.

“In this moment of grief, I fondly remember Kofi’s contribution to good governance and sustainable development in Africa, particularly through the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Africa Progress Panel, a group of ten distinguished individuals which advocated policy change for sustainable development in Africa.

“Kofi Chaired the Africa Progress Panel, and I was a member, until 2017 when we took a decision to transfer the activities of the Panel from Geneva, Switzerland, to the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun, Nigeria, under the name of Africa Progress Group,” he said.

The former president called on “all men and women of goodwill” to unite in upholding and sustaining the legacies of Annan.

“This can be done, especially through support for the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Africa Progress Group, which succeeded the Africa Progress Panel, both of which he led very ably in his life time,” he said.