President Muhammadu Buhari has joined countless world leaders in paying glowing tribute to the departed former United Nations Secretary, Kofi Annan.
Annan, the first black person to head the organisation, died on Saturday in the Swiss city of Bern after a short illness, aged 80.
Reacting to the passing of the former UN Secretary on Saturday, President Buhari said, Kofi Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the United Nations’ bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.
In his reaction, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki in a tweet on Saturday, wrote; “Kofi Annan was a ‘purposeful optimist’ who spoke for the voiceless, a diplomat who worked for peace in a tumultuous world, and a leader who dedicated his life to advocating for the liberty and freedom of all mankind. We shall miss him.”
Similarly, Saraki’s wife, Barr. Toyin Saraki described Kofi Annan as one who selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.
In his words, former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said the late Kofi Annan as a global statesman, who dedicated his life to democracy, peace, stability, security, equity, justice, human rights, development, and progress.
In his reaction to the demise of the Noble Laureate on Saturday, Obasanjo remarked that these attributes culminated in not only his appointment as United Nations Secretary General in 1997 but also in his well-deserved honour with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for having revitalised the United Nations and for giving priority to human rights.
In his words, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said the departed Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good.
“I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all.”
Also, the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo said the government and people of Ghana are deeply saddened by the news describing Kofi Annan as one of the nation’s greatest compatriots.
The Ghanaian leader added that flags at the country’s government offices and diplomatic missions would fly at half-staff for a week.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, described the deceased as a great leader and reformer of the UN.
In the same vein, Russian President, Vladimir Putin said, “I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, his ability to make informed decisions even in the most complex, critical situations. His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russians.”
For German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Kofi Annan never gave up working for the good in the world.
French President, Emmanuel Macron said it will be difficult to forget the deceased’s calm and resolute approach to matters, nor the strength of his commitment.
For former United States President, Barack Obama, Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others.
“His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations,” he said.