Desmond Tutu sought Nigeria’s full debt cancellation, says Obasanjo 


. Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Former President of Nigeria,  Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has recalled the role played by late Archbishop Desmond Tutu in getting the country’s debt cancelled, declaring that his death was a personal loss to him.

The late anti-apartheid scion, pro-democracy guru and human rights crusader died earlier today at age 90.

Obasanjo in a condolence letter to the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday,  stated that “Over the years, Reverend Tutu had shown focused, credible, bold, sensitive and purposeful leadership not just to members of the Anglican Church but to all Christians.”

The letter, which was released to journalists by his Special Assistant on Media,  Kehinde Akinyemi, added 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.”

On Nigeria’s debt cancellation role, Obasanjo said that he 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 United Kingdom’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.”

Obasanjo told Ramaphosa that “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.”

Obasanjo further described late Reverend Tutu as 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 tele-evangelist 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 the white-ruled South Africa’s Nationalist Party.”




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