leaders to pay his last respect to the departed former South African President Dr. Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Mandela passed away in the ripe old age of 95, in his home, after months of ill health.
United States President Barak Obama, British Prime Minister Mr. David Cameroon, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Former US President Mr. Bill Clinton and a host of other world leaders have also expressed sadness over the death of Mr. Mandela.
Mr. Jonathan, who is currently in France for an official assignement expressed immense sadness over the death of former Mr. Mandela, who is popularly known as Mandiba.
In a condolence message to South African President Mr. Jacob Zuma, on Thursday night, Mr. Jonathan conveyed the sympathy and solidarity of the Nigerian Government and people of Nigeria to Mr. Zuma and all South Africans as they mourn the late anti-apartheid icon.
“I write to commiserate with you, the Government and people of South Africa and the family of Dr. Nelson Mandela on the death of one of the greatest sons of Africa,” Mr. Jonathan wrote in the condolence message.
He said “although it has come at the advanced age of 95, Madiba’s death will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill in our continent. He will be sorely missed by all who cherish love, peace and freedom the world over and will be eternally honoured for his immense contribution to the dismantling of the apartheid policy, one of the world’s most obnoxious systems whose under-pining philosophy was the degradation of man by man”.
The Nigerian leader said “Dr. Mandela served as a source of inspiration to the oppressed peoples all over the world” adding that “in the course of his life-long epic struggle for freedom, fairness, justice, equity and the human rights of his oppressed people, Dr. Mandela made unparalleled personal sacrifices. The indefatigable spirit which he demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations”.
He said the late former South African leader would “always be remembered and honoured by all mankind as one of its greatest liberators, a wise, courageous and compassionate leader, and an icon of true democracy”.
“We join you, the Mandela family, the people of South Africa and lovers of freedom, peace, justice and equity all over the world in praying that God Almighty will receive the Great Madiba’s soul and grant him eternal rest,” President Jonathan wrote.
Mr. Obama said “Nelson Mandela was a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration. Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways. At the same time, no-one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations. Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us – if we believe, dream and work together for justice and humanity”.
Mr. Ki-moon said Mandela was “a source of inspiration” for the world while Mr. Cameron said with the passage of Mandela, “a great light has gone out in the world”.
Mr. Clinton said in a statement: “Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings… All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived.”
“We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings. I cannot fully imagine my life without the example Nelson Mandela set. He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.”
Former US President Mr. George W Bush said “President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. This great man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever.”
Former US President Jimmy Carter has this to say “The people of South Africa and human rights advocates around the world have lost a great leader. His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world’s leading Head of the European Commission Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso tweets: Mandela changed course of history for his people, country, continent & the world. My thoughts are with his family and people of South Africa.
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde said the death of the great leader was a shock to the world.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Nelson Mandela and extend our condolences to his family and to the people of South Africa whose lives and destiny he transformed through his service to his country,” she said.
Lagarde stated further “Nelson Mandela was a courageous and visionary leader who enabled his country to confront its past and inspired its people to address an extraordinary set of challenges. He was a man who brought deep principles, skillful diplomacy and quiet dignity to the task of national reconciliation and nation building. His modesty in the face of greatness will always be remembered and, moreover, will continue to inspire us all”.
“The extraordinary global reach of Nelson Mandela’s admirers is testimony to his profound contribution to making South Africa and the world a better place,” she stated further.