Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, ex-United States President Barack Obama and other world leaders yesterday united with the President of South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, in paying tributes to Africa’s fallen legend, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Ramaphosa had described his demise of Desmond Tutu, as another chapter “of bereavement in the nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans, who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa.”
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari commiserated with his South African counterpart, the Tutu family, especially his spouse, Mrs. Leah Tutu, and South Africans over the passage of the global hero.
It stated: “President Buhari believes the death of the iconic teacher, human rights activist, leader of thought, scholar and philanthropist, further creates a void in a world in dire need of wisdom, integrity, courage and sound reasoning, which were qualities that the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1984, typified and exemplified in words and actions.
In his condolence letter to Ramaphosa, former President Obasanjo acknowledged late Tutu’s “uncommon solidarity and the deep passion with which he had argued Nigeria’s case for full debt cancellation by the contents of his letter to Mr. Gordon Brown, the then UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, during my administration as the President of Nigeria.
“This heroic advocacy effort of his with respect to Nigeria’s indebtedness to the Paris Club on behalf of Nigeria was very much in his character.”
To the former U.S. President, Barack Obama, the late archbishop was a towering figure and “moral compass,” who fought against injustice in South Africa and elsewhere.”
“A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere,” Obama said, adding that Tutu sought to “find humanity in his adversaries.”
The former U.S. President, Jimmy Carter described Desmond Tutu as a friend whose ministry he said exemplified “love, freedom and compassion.”
“He lived his values in the long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, in his leadership of the national campaign for truth and reconciliation, and in his role as a global citizen,” Carter, age 97, said in a statement
The African National Congress (ANC) Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Prime Minister Boris Johnson; India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema; Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama are among the world leaders who paid tributes on the passing of Desmond Tutu.