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.