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Desmond Tutu influenced Nigeria’s debt cancellation – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has recalled the role played by late South African elder statesman, Desmond Tutu, in getting Nigeria’s foreign debt cancelled during his…

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has recalled the role played by late South African elder statesman, Desmond Tutu, in getting Nigeria’s foreign debt cancelled during his presidency.

Obasanjo noted Tutu’s “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.”

He said this in a condolence letter the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, mourning Tutu who died on Sunday at the age of 90.

Obasanjo described his death as a personal loss to him.

“Again, I must acknowledge 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,” the former President said.

Obasanjo said the late religious leader would be remembered “for his forthrightness, doggedness, dynamism, welfarism, anti-corruption, estachological discourses, courage, commitment to ethical values, uprightness, unwavering Christian testimony and purposeful leadership.”

He added that Tutu died “with his head lifted high; his ministry untainted; and his integrity uncompromised.”

Obasanjo told Ramaphosa that “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.”

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