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Jonathan Condoles Family of Late Foreign Affairs Minister * As Amosun says death ‘great loss’


President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed his condolences to the family of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, who died on Saturday in South Africa
In a statement signed by Dr Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser, Media & Publicity, Jonathan said: “He received with much sadness, news of the death of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, Saturday in South Africa.”
The statment goes on to say: “Jonathan extends sincerest condolences to Ambassador Ashiru’s wife, children, other relatives, friends, associates, former colleagues and staff of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs as they mourn the exemplary diplomat who gave the most productive years of his adult life to the patriotic service of his nation.
The President assures them all of the fullest sympathy, solidarity and support of the Federal Government as they mourn Ambassador Ashiru who will also be long remembered and honoured as one of the very elite few, who after a long and very distinguished career as a Foreign Service Officer in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was recalled from retirement to serve as Minister and political head of the same ministry in recognition of his widely acknowledged leadership qualities and diplomatic skills.
“Nigeria, President Jonathan believes, will always owe the late Minister a huge debt of gratitude for his notable contributions, over many years, to the establishment of mutually-beneficial relationships with other countries where he served as diplomat and ambassador, and for the country’s many diplomatic successes in the international arena during his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“The President prays that God Almighty will comfort all who mourn Ambassador Ashiru and grant his gentle soul peaceful and eternal rest.”
And in a related development,  Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described the death of former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, at the age of 66 years as very painful and a personal loss.
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun described the death of Ashiru as a great loss to him, Ogun State, where he hailed from and the nation as a whole.
The governor noted that the death of Ashiru occurred at a time when his wealth of experience in international diplomacy would have been most needed in shoring up the nation’s image in the face of the insurgency that it is presently confronted with.
“He was a career diplomat, who served the nation meritoriously in several capacities. He was our pride in the diplomatic circle as well as an outstanding and illustrious son of Ogun State, who we were proud of. He would be sorely missed,” the governor said.
He prayed Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest and give his family and relatives the fortitude to bear the great loss


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