President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan have both condoled with President Joe Biden, the government and people of the United States on the passing of the former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell.
1st News reports that Colin Powell, the US’ first Black Secretary of State, passed on Monday from COVID-19 complications.
He died at the age of 84.
Buhari’s condolence message was contained in a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; Malam Garba Shehu, late Monday evening in Abuja. The president believed that as the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the highest military position in the US Department of Defense as well as the first African American Secretary of State; Colin Powell was a great statesman and a global icon in every sense of it.
Further, the Nigerian leader recounted that as US Secretary of State; Powell played a very important role in advancing his country’s foreign policy and national defence interests. He observed that the deceased was also a great advocate of the eradication of polio; as well as in addressing the deadly spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.
Specifically, Buhari described the deceased Colin Powell as a professional soldier; a distinguished public servant and an effective diplomat, who gave his utmost for his country.
‘‘My prayers and thoughts are with Powell’s family and the people of the United States as they mourn the death of an exceptional leader and one of America’s greatest pride.”
On his part, Jonathan, in a tribute he personally signed on Monday in Abuja, described Powell as a renowned US public servant and great leader who left solid and indelible footprints in the sands of time.
He stated that Powell’s stellar military career paved the way for other African-Americans to reach for the top. The former President added that the deceased articulated a new paradigm for engaging in military action.
“Until the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, Colin Powell was the highest ranking African American to have served in the public sector of the United States.
“In that capacity, he served as a beacon of hope and was a pride of the Black Race.
“His articulation of the Powell Doctrine gave the United States, and the world at large, a new paradigm for engaging in military action with honour and decorum.
“As Secretary of State, he was known for his tactful management of America’s foreign relations; of which he extended a right hand of fellowship to the Yar’adua administration when I was vice president,” Jonathan added.
Additionally, Jonathan said that Powell’s death at 84 after a long useful and fulfilled life, was mourned by him; as well as his family and the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation. He added that Colin Powell left solid and indelible footprints in the sands of time and would be greatly missed.
“Our prayers are with his family at this trying time for them,” Jonathan added.