Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed sadness over the death of the late South African anti-apartheid hero, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Naija News reports that the anti-apartheid icon died at the age of 90 on Sunday and his death has generated different reactions from World leaders.
In a condolence letter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the former President described the death of the human rights crusader as a personal loss to him.
Obasanjo in the letter issued by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, recalled the uncommon solidarity and role played by Tutu in getting Nigeria’s debt cancelled in his letter to former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
The letter reads: “Tutu had been part of building and strengthening the Anglican Church, and its eminent place in the Church system in South Africa today is not unrelated to his selfless service and leadership.
“I acknowledge 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 United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, during my administration as the President of Nigeria.
“Over the years, Tutu had shown focused, credible, bold, sensitive and purposeful leadership not just to members of the Anglican Church but to all Christians. 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.
“Reverend Tutu was a patriotic and highly respected teacher, preacher, intercessor and field commander of the Lord’s Army. He symbolised one of our finest examples of how a life truly dedicated to our Saviour Jesus Christ can make a difference. He had been a difference-maker for his family, his friends, his flock, his community, the church, the Republic of South Africa and, indeed, the world.
“Reverend Tutu was an unparalleled visionary leader within the church with profound knowledge of the Bible and the Word with an admirable, grasp and appreciation of history. He was also a televangelist and a strong believer in the unity of believers worldwide as a transformational tool for development.
“He had very impressive pro-democracy credentials and was always ready to partner with forces of justice, equity, and fairness universally. I had a personal experience of the way God used him through my relationship and association with him as a man of God. He worked very closely with us in the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group. His insights, understanding and pieces of advice and suggestions on the way forward ending apartheid in South Africa were extremely valuable.
“He, by himself, was a consummate leader, fearless and quite daring. When most of the political leaders in South Africa were in jail, he was almost a one-man riot using both religion and Holy Bible against apartheid. He was simply like a thorn in the flesh of white-ruled South Africa’s Nationalist Party.
“Though we are saddened by the inevitable finality of his passage, as we will miss his fiery sermons, writings and fatherly counsel, we should be comforted by the fact that he left a good legacy behind and his memory will linger on for very long time in the minds of his admirers, friends, protégés, immediate community, congregants and, indeed, Christendom.”
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