ABEOKUTA – Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described late former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan as an African and global statesman, who dedicated his life to peace, stability, security, democracy, equity, justice, human rights, development, and progress.
While reacting to the death of former UN scribe on Saturday, Obasanjo remarked that these attributes culminated in not only his appointment as United Nations Secretary General, but also in his well-deserved honour with a Nobel Peace Prize for having revitalised the United Nations and for giving priority to human rights.
Obasanjo in a press statement personally signed by him, but made available to newsmen by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi in Abeokuta, declared that Kofi’s death was received with shock.
“I received the shocking news of the demise of former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with deep sadness at 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; 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.
Obasanjo said, he remembered Kofi “as a global statesman who dedicated his life to democracy, peace, stability, security, equity, justice, human rights, development, and progress, which culminated in not only his appointment as United Nations Secretary General in 1997 but also in his well-deserved honour with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for having revitalised the United Nations and for giving priority to human rights.”
He also pointed out that former UN Secretary recent 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 “respectively demonstrated his statesmanship and diplomacy. In both cases, and at all times, Kofi was 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 State, Nigeria under the name of Africa Progress Group.”
The former President noted further that, “as we mourn Kofi, it is important that all men and women of goodwill come together and work towards sustaining his legacy 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.”