May 7, 2010

Obama, Zuma other world leaders, others mourn

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday condoled with the Government and People of Nigeria over the death of  President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“President Yar’Adua worked to promote peace and stability in Africa through his support of Nigerian peacekeeping efforts as well as his strong criticism of undemocratic actions in the region.

“The late president was committed to creating lasting peace and prosperity within Nigeria’s own borders, and continuing that work will be an important part of honouring his legacy,’’ the statement said.

According to reports, the Nigerian flag at the Nigerian House in New York was lowered late on Wednesday as a mark of respect for the late president.

A condolence register has been opened at the Nigerian Mission in New York, which houses the Consulate and the Nigerian UN Mission staff.

UN member-states, diplomats and representatives have been calling on Nigeria’s Permanent Representative, Prof. Joy Ogwu, to express their condolences.

Relatedly, the United Nation Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, has paid glowing tribute to President Umaru Yar’Adua, who died on Wednesday, remembering him for his commitment to democratic governance and electoral reforms.

Conveying his heartfelt condolences to President Yar’ Adua’s family and the people and Government of Nigeria, Ban described the death as great loss “for Nigeria and its people.”

“He will be remembered, among other things, for his efforts to bring peace and stability to the Niger Delta region and for his commitment to democratic governance and electoral reforms,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the delegation of the European Union to Nigeria has conveyed a condolence message from the President of the European Commission to the Government and People of Nigeria on the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

In his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, said: “Former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua made a great contribution to the political and democratic life of the nation, and the stability of the region. He leaves an enduring legacy which stands as an inspiration to his fellow citizens and the wider world.”

Zuma shocked

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has described the death of President Umar Yar’Adua as “shocking and saddening.

“I learnt with shock and sadness of the news of the passing away of my brother, President Yar’Adua,” Zuma said in a condolence message released by the South African Presidency on Thursday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nigerian people as you grieve the loss of an outstanding son of the soil,’’ the Southern Africa correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the letter as saying.

“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and relatives of President Yar’Adua, the government and the people of this great African nation, Nigeria, as well as the broader ECOWAS community.