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Desmond Tutu played vital role in Nigeria’s debt cancellation – Obasanjo



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday described the death of one of South Africa’s anti-apartheid heroes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as a personal loss.

The human rights crusader died on Sunday morning at the age of 90.

In a condolence letter forwarded to the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Obasanjo said Tutu played a vital role in Nigeria’s journey to debt relief with the Paris Club in the early 2000s.

He said: “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.

“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.

“I recall his 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.

READ ALSO: Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid icon, Nobel prize winner, dies at 90

“Rev. 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.

“Rev. 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 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.”

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