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UN - Ban expresses sadness at death of Nigerian leader

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his deep sadness to learn of the death of Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, which he called a great loss for the African nation and its people.

Mr. Yar’Adua, the Secretary-General said in a statement issued by his spokesperson, “will be remembered, among other things, for his efforts to bring peace and stability to the Niger Delta region and for his commitment to democratic governance and electoral reforms.”

The United Nations chief also expressed his gratitude for Mr. Yar’Adua’s “unwavering support” of the world body and its ideals, as well as for the initiative he undertook as chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In the statement, the Secretary-General also extended his condolences to the family of Mr. Yar’Adua, who also served as Nigeria’s Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and to the country’s Government.

In March, Mr. Ban encouraged all people in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, to continue supporting Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, who was installed to lead the country while Mr. Yar’Adua was being treated for his ailments.

The Secretary-General, according to a statement, said that he “recognises the challenges currently confronting the country as it continues to develop its democratic system and encourages Nigeria’s leadership and institutions to work together in the greater national interest, respecting the rule of law and ensuring adherence to the country's Constitution.”

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