World leaders are in mourning and they are commiserating with the government and people of Ghana over the passing of a former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

He died in the early hours of Saturday at age 80.

After his demise, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, who is in London on a 10-day vacation, called President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and said all Nigerians and ECOWAS member countries shared in the deep loss.

He highlighted the strategic influence of the former scribe in global affairs and his vision for the re-positioning of the West Coast and Africa.

As the first elected staff of the United Nations to lead the world organisation and first African to win the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations, the President noted that Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the United Nations' bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.

President Buhari said Annan’s origin and home will always be traced to Ghana, but his exceptional leadership roles, humanitarian spirit and contributions to global peace and development will remain indelible in the history of the entire world, especially the efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and launch of the UN Global Compact.

A former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, said he was “deeply saddened by the death of Kofi Annan, a world-renowned icon of peace and diplomacy.

In a message to commiserate with the people of Ghana, Dr. Jonathan described Mr Annan as a distinguished and accomplished international public servant and one of Africa’s most prominent diplomats.

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“As the United Nations Secretary-General, Annan introduced far-reaching reforms that reinvigorated the UN systems and positively impacted international relations.

“A consummate diplomat, Annan successfully managed the contending powers in the UN and stood firmly for development, human rights and a peaceful world; a commitment that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Even after leaving active service, Annan remained robustly engaged in promoting good governance, diplomacy, mediation, and humanitarian services.

His demise is a sad loss to Africa and the World,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

The President of the Senate in Nigeria, Dr Bukola Saraki, also described the death of former Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Koffi Annan, as the end of a golden era in global politics and international relations.

Saraki in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the late Annan as a quintessential African diplomat on the global plane and a citizen of the world.

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He said the deceased deployed his vast capacities to tackle intractable global challenges ranging from hunger, conflict, epidemic and restoration of peace in war torn countries.

“He was a citizen of the world, an African avatar and God’s messenger of peace to the world. His demise is a huge loss to the international community and to humanity.

“Africa has indeed lost one of her best. He shall be sorely missed.”

For the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, Mr Annan’s death is a huge loss to Africa and humanity.

In a post on his Twitter page, Dogara said the late Annan had etched his name on the sands of time as a true son of Africa.

He also described the late Annam as a quintessential leader and accomplished diplomat, who dedicated his life time to the progress of humanity.

“It is with a great sense of loss that I received the news of the passing on of former secretary general of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan.

“Even with the awareness that death is an inevitable end, also for great men, it does not reduce the feeling of loss with which I received the news of Kofi Annan’s death.

“His contributions to the advancement of the human race will never be forgotten.

“My heartfelt condolences to his family, Ghanaian government and the global community; May his soul find eternal rest in peace,” Dogara said.

 The United Nations is also in mourning Mr Annan.

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The current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid glowing tributes to the former Secretary-General, who headed the intergovernmental organisation from 1997 to 2006.

The renowned Ghanaian’s foundation announced his death on Saturday and the late UN scribe reportedly died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.

Guterres hailed Annan as “a guiding force for good” and a “proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.”

“Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor.

“I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership.

“He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom – and I know I was not alone,” Guterres said in a statement.

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