President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday night said he was immensely saddened by the death of freedom fighter and former South African President, Nelson Mandela, saying his spirit lives on to inspire oppressed people all over the world.
Special adviser to the President on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati noted in a statement that Jonathan who quickly scribbled a condolence message to President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, conveyed the sympathy and solidarity of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria to him and all South Africans as they mourn Mandela.
He quoted the Nigerian president as saying: "I write to commiserate with you, the Government and people of South Africa and the family of Dr. Nelson Mandela on the death of one of the greatest sons of Africa. Although it has come at the advanced age of 95, Madiba's death will create a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill on our continent.
"He will be sorely missed by all who cherish love, peace and freedom the world over and will be eternally honoured for his immense contribution to the dismantling of the apartheid policy, one of the world's most obnoxious systems whose under-pining philosophy was the degradation of man by man.
"Dr. Mandela served as a source of inspiration to the oppressed peoples all over the world. In the course of his life-long epic struggle for freedom, fairness, justice, equity and the human rights of his oppressed people, Dr. Mandela made unparalleled personal sacrifices. The indefatigable spirit which he demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations.
"Dr. Mandela will always be remembered and honoured by all mankind as one of its greatest liberators, a wise, courageous and compassionate leader, and an icon of true democracy.
"We join you, the Mandela family, the people of South Africa and lovers of freedom, peace, justice and equity all over the world in praying that God Almighty will receive the Great Madiba's soul and grant him eternal rest," President Jonathan further wrote.