President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday joined others to mourn the death of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi.

The former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi.

Zenawi, a technocratic but repressive prime minister, who lifted his country from the ruins of civil war and transformed it into one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, died on Monday, state television reported. He was 57.

The Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati said the Nigeria president “received with shock and sadness, the news of the passing away of His Excellency, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, of Ethiopia.

“On behalf of himself, the Government and the people of Nigeria, President Jonathan extends his deepest sympathy and condolence to the people of Ethiopia, especially members of late Prime Minister Zenawi’s family.”

President Jonathan describes Prime Minister Zenawi’s death as a major loss for Africa. “He was a great African statesman, who is also a friend of Nigeria, a nation-builder and a great servant of the Ethiopian people.”

He further notes that “Prime Minister Zenawi will be remembered for his vision and integrity,” adding that

“He held strong convictions about establishing a just and prosperous society for his people, a cause to which he devoted his considerable energies, and which deservedly earned him respect and honour among a grateful Ethiopian nation.”

President Jonathan acknowledged the late Prime Minister Zenawi’s vision for a united and strong Africa, a cause he pursued with remarkable honesty and passion. Indeed, his role, along with other African leaders, as the fulcrum of the African renaissance project, has ensured for him a prominent place in the annals of African history.

“The passing away of Prime Minister Zenawi at this time when Ethiopia and, indeed, all of Africa, stand to benefit from his wisdom and experience in building a stable and prosperous continent is a great loss that will be hard to remedy,” he said.

President Jonathan assures the people of Ethiopia that the Government and people of Nigeria share in their loss.
The statement said that Mr Jonathan “is hopeful that the government and the entire Ethiopian nation will be comforted by the enduring legacy of service that Prime Minister Zenawi left behind.”