Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan has paid tribute to former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, following his death in South Africa this past weekend.
According to a statement signed by Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, President Jonathan extended sincerest condolences to Ashiru’s wife, children, other relatives, friends, associates, former colleagues and staff of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs as they mourned the exemplary diplomat who gave the most productive years of his adult life to the patriotic service of his nation.
Abati said the President assured them all of the fullest sympathy, solidarity and support of the Federal Government as they mourned Ashiru.
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"He will be long remembered and honoured as one of the very elite few, who after a long and very distinguished career as a Foreign Service Officer in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was recalled from retirement to serve as Minister and political head of the same ministry in recognition of his widely acknowledged leadership qualities and diplomatic skills."
Abati said Jonathan believed Nigeria would always owe the late Minister a huge debt of gratitude for his notable contributions to the establishment of mutually-beneficial relationships with other countries where he served as diplomat and ambassador, and for the country’s many diplomatic successes in the international arena during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He said the President prayed that God would comfort all who mourned Ashiru and grant his gentle soul peaceful and eternal rest.
Ashiru died last Saturday in a South African hospital where he had reportedly been hospitalized for three months.
He was 66 years old.
- CAJ News