By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has recalled the role played by late 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 Sunday at 90.
Obasanjo in a condolence letter to the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday, said “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 the media by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, added that Tutu had been part of building and strengthening the Anglican Church, adding that its eminent place in the Church system in South Africa today is not unrelated to his selfless service and leadership.”
On the country’s debt cancellation role, Obasanjo 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 added: “Reverend Tutu was a patriotic and highly respected Teacher, Preacher, Intercessor and Field Commander of the Lord’s Army.
“He symbolized 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.”