From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has expressed shock and profound sadness over the death of Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and a former minister of Health, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, who died on Sunday at 68.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said Osinbajo described the late doctor as an illustrious Nigerian.
The acting president also extended his condolences to the staff of the UNFPA and the entire UN system on the demise of “a very remarkable international public servant, who served passionately, diligently and worked tirelessly at the global and national stages to reduce maternal mortality and promote universal access to reproductive health.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) has expressed sadness over the death of Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof. Osotimehin. UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in a statement, described Osotimehin as a colleague and a friend.
Guterres expressed condolences to the family of the deceased, the staff of UNFPA and the Nigerian Government.
“I am profoundly saddened by the sudden passing of my good colleague and friend, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. I offer sincere condolences to his family, to the staff of UNFPA, to the Government and people of Nigeria, and to all those around the world touched by this loss.
“The world has lost a great champion of health and well-being for all. Dr Babatunde was admired globally for his leadership of the UN Population Fund and for his forceful advocacy for the world’s women and girls in particular,” Guterres said.
Also, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, described the death of Prof. Osotimehin, as a big loss, not only to Nigeria but the world at large.
The governor, in a statement signed by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, said the death of the professor of clinical pathology, who he described as “a world acclaimed public servant,” was particularly saddening for Ogun State, as “he was one of the many illustrious sons and daughters that the Gateway State is proud of…”
“We cannot forget his invaluable contributions as Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and the war against HIV/AIDS, when he served as Executive Director of the National Agency for the control of AIDS (NACA), which no doubt, significantly tamed the spread of the disease in Nigeria.
“His achievements, definitely earned him a well deserved seat in the Federal Executive Council of the previous administration, where he held the portfolio of the Minister of Health,” Amosun added..
The governor equally recalled the feats of the late Osotimehin as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as the Executive Director, UNFPA, noting that he was an epitome of excellence.