Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, the late former president of South Africa, as condolences continued pouring in for the deceased statesman.
“The ECOWAS Commission has learnt with a deep sense of loss and devastation, the passing on of former South African President Dr. Nelson Mandela.
"The Commission notes that Dr. Mandela, as a charismatic world leader and international icon of peace and reconciliation, guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy.
"In spite of his imprisonment for 27 years for fighting against white minority rule, Dr. Mandela has bequeathed to his country and the world a legacy of forgiveness and an unmatched example in leadership by winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and serving only one term as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999,” the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Désiré Kadré Ouedraogo, stated from Abuja.
He said in the death of Mandela last Thursday at 95, Africa and the world had lost a "rare legend, a distinguished role model, great freedom fighter and a man of peace and courage.”
“On behalf of ECOWAS Institutions, the Commission wishes to commiserate with the Mandela family, the Government and the people of South Africa over this huge loss,” Ouedraogo said.
The president of the ECOWAS Commission added that Mandela’s “big shoes” would be difficult to fill.
“While Mandela’s big shoes would be difficult to fill, the greatest tribute to his memory is to immortalise his legacy and the principles of peace and reconciliation which he cherished, lived and died for.”
– CAJ News