By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has expressed shock and profound sadness over the death of Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and a former Minister of Health in Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Abuja by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Osinbajo describes the death of Osotimehin as a great loss.
“On behalf of the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo extends heartfelt condolences to his wife, children and entire family over the passage of their beloved father, grandfather and also an illustrious Nigerian.
“The Acting President also commiserates with the staff of the UNFPA and the entire UN system on the demise of a very remarkable international public servant, who served passionately, diligently and worked tirelessly at the global and national stages to reduce maternal mortality and promote universal access to reproductive health.
“The late Osotimehin, who also had a distinguished career as medical doctor and teacher before he served as a cabinet minister in Nigeria, and later at the UN, will be long remembered for his many significant developmental contributions at home and in the international community, according to Acting President Osinbajo.
“As Prof. Osotimehin is being mourned internationally, the Acting President urges the Osotimehin family, friends and associates to take solace knowing that his notable service and worthy contributions especially towards improving women and children’s health across the world are widely acclaimed, deeply appreciated, and would be long remembered and honoured,” he said.
Osotimehin, a former Minister of Health between 2008 and 2010 was also head of the committee for the control of AIDS in Nigeria.
He died in New York at the age of 68.