Babatunde Fashola, Lagos State governor, has expressed condolences to the people and government of Ogun State over the death of Olugbenga Ashiru, former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In a condolence statement signed by Hakeem Bello, Special Adviser to the governor on Media, Fashola expressed shock and sadness over Ashiru’s death with special condolences to his family and relations.
The governor stated that the late career diplomat was credited with revitalizing Nigeria’s presence in international diplomacy in the post-Olusegun Obasanjo era adding that he played a key role in the nation’s diplomatic initiatives within and outside the continent.
He also noted that before being appointed Foreign Minister, Ashiru had established himself in the diplomatic circles having served as third secretary in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea in 1991 and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa with concurrent accreditation to Lesotho and Swaziland in 2005.
Governor Fashola said the diplomat passed on at a time when Nigeria “needed men of high integrity to put the country in the front burner of international reckoning.”
He urged the Government and people of Ogun State, especially the immediate family and relations of the deceased, to take solace in the untainted legacy of national service and reputation which he left behind.
Ashiru died last Saturday at the age of 66. He had reportedly been hospitalised in a South African hospital where he died for three months.
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