ASABA/Nigeria: Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa on Saturday extended his heartfelt condolences to the Kofi Annan family, the United Nations, the government and people of the Republic of Ghana on the demise of former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Atta Annan.
In a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Governor Okowa described the death of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work winner as “a great loss to the international community where he led efforts to finding peaceful solution to conflicts globally”.
According to the statement, “We have lost a global statesman who was deeply committed to global peace and conflict resolution. The highly revered diplomat will be long remembered for his towering role and dedication to improving lives through peaceful coexistence among people of diverse race.
“Mr Annan was bold and fearless as Secretary-General and told truth to power which led to his declaration of American invasion of Iraq in 2003 as “illegal” under international law. As UN Special Envoy to Syria, he proposed a six-point plan, that would have led to the early resolution of the crisis in Syria which was however not implemented by the Syrian government which led to his resignation as Special Envoy.
The Governor noted that Mr Annan touched lives with his Kofi Annan Foundation that was committed to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights around the world.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, Governor Okowa extols Mr Annan’s extraordinary and committed leadership at the United Nations where he emerged as the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving from 1997 to 2006 and his exceptional stewardship that led to the successful war against the HIV/AIDS pandemic including the establishment of the social investment fund “The Global Fund” to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as the launching of the Millennium Development Goals.”
Governor Okowa expressed the hope that the international community and all those who mourn the late Kofi Annan will continue to honour his legacy of selfless service and commitment to human dignity and global peace.
He prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest and comfort his family, well-wishers and the people of the Republic of Ghana in this period of loss and global mourning.
On its part, the African Development Bank said that it has learned with deep sadness the news of the death of Kofi A. Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Noble Peace Prize Laureate, at the age of 80 in Bern, Switzerland.
A statement that was released by the bank said,
“With Mr. Kofi Annan’s passing, Africa and the entire world has lost its finest diplomat, champion of world peace and development advocate, leaving a void which will be hard to fill,” President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina said. “Today, the international community is mourning a man of great humility and righteousness; a formidable architect behind critical peace brokering agreements around the world. His leadership on spearheading the Millennium Development Goals, made poverty eradication an achievable global imperative. He touched the lives of everyone he met with his dignity and quiet resolve. We stand with his dear wife, Nane, family and friends at this time and express our heartfelt condolences”, Adesina added.
For the African Development Bank, Mr. Kofi Annan held a special place on several of the Bank’s initiatives. He was a staunch advocate of the Bank’s ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’, a partnership-driven effort which aims to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025. He was appointed as the “Champion” of the New Deal on Energy for Africa. In 2016, Mr Annan co-chaired the Special Panel on Accelerating the Implementation of the African Development Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, launched by President Adesina.
He spearheaded several initiatives on Africa, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
In April 2001, in Abuja, Nigeria, at a summit of African leaders, Mr. Kofi Annan made the first explicit public call for a new funding mechanism, proposing the creation of The Global Fund, to be dedicated to the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. He made the first contribution to the Global Fund in 2001.
Kofi Annan was Africa’s global icon. He will be greatly missed.
Meanwhile, in his personal nessage, the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina eulogized Kofi A. Annan:
It is with much sadness that I learnt today of the death of Mr. Kofi A. Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations.
He was a great personal mentor and father to me. His simplicity, decency, uncommon humility, selflessness and compassion made him a gem for humanity.
A distinguished gentleman. He was a global icon and a man of peace who stood firmly in support of good governance and accountability for leaders.
He was my boss as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), when I was the Vice President for AGRA. He had an infectious passion for ending hunger and poverty in Africa. He greatly supported me when I was Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, when he served as a member of the Eminent Persons Group that helped to support the transformation of agriculture in Nigeria. He energetically co-Chaired the High-level Panel of global leaders to support the African Development Bank in its efforts to accelerate Africa’s development.
As U.N. Secretary General and throughout a distinguished career, Mr. Annan made Africa stand tall globally. Africa has lost a great gem.
I will greatly miss him and his rich words of wisdom.
May his soul rest in peace.
Akinwumi A. Adesina
African Development Bank.