Ibadan – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Amina Mohammed were among the dignitaries who attended the burial of Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin on Friday in Ibadan.
Osotimehin, who died on June 4 at the age of 68, was until his death the Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Osotimehin was also a Minister of Health in Nigeria and Director-General of National Agency for the Control of Aids.
Obasanjo in his tribute said: “the finality of Professor Osotimehin’s passage is painful, especially as he would still have a lot to contribute to his family, his community, the nation, Africa and indeed the entire world.
“But we draw solace from the fact that he lived a life of service to humankind and his fatherland.
“No doubt Professor Osotimehin has left an indelible mark in his national and international assignments.
“His manners and conduct displayed while alive will continue to linger in our memory and serve as a source of inspiration.’’
In his message, the Rt. Rev. George Lasebikan, said that death was an appointment every living soul must keep.
“All human beings are mortals; death has no respect for age, qualifications and positions. Everyone has an expiry date.
“It is a necessary end and it will come when it will come, it makes a mockery of those who steal public money.
“Sit lightly on your possessions, they are all temporary,’’ he said.
Lasebikan described Osotimehin as a `God-fearing’ man who practised practical Christianity in his dealings with others.
“Bob has passed in the way of all flesh but all hope is not lost, he has carefully completed his God-given assignment.
“We rejoice in the Lord that he didn’t die in vain but in the Lord,’’ he said.
Other notable persons who attended the funeral service held at All Souls Church, Bodija, Ibadan, were the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who represented the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State.
The governor of Ogun was represented by his Deputy, Yetunde Onanuga, and a former governor of Oyo State, retired Rear Adm. Toye Shode, also attended.
Dignitaries from international bodies at the event included the Acting Executive Director, UNFPA, Ms Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director of UN Women, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and a representative of the African Union Commission.