By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the government and people of Ghana over the passing of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in the early hours of Aug. 18.
A statement issued by Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Saturday, said Buhari had earlier called President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana from London, to register his condolence.
President Buhari said all Nigerians and ECOWAS member countries share in the deep loss, considering the strategic influence of the former scribe in global affairs and his vision for repositioning the West Coast and Africa.
The President acknowledged that Annan was the first UN staff to lead the organisation, he was also a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN.
He noted that Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the UN’s bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.
President Buhari said Annan’s origin and home will always be traced to Ghana, but his exceptional leadership roles, humanitarian spirit and contributions to global peace and development will remain indelible in the history of the entire world.
He particularly lauded his efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa as well as the launch of the UN Global Compact.
The President also sent condolences to the wife of the diplomat, Nane Maria Annan and his family members, staff of the UN and the global organisations he was heading, like The Elders, which was founded by Nelson Mandela.
President Buhari prayed that the almighty God would comfort his family and all his loved ones.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Annan, who was born on April 8, 1938, was a Ghanaian diplomat, who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN, from January 1997 to December 2006.
He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organisation,
Born in Kumasi, Annan went on to study Economics at Macalester College, U.S, International Relations from the Graduate Institute, Geneva and Management at MIT, also in the U.S.
Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organisation’s Geneva office.
He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996.
He was appointed the Secretary-General on Dec. 13, 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.