3 June 2002

Nigeria: Tributes Pour in For Garba

Washington, DC — Tributes are pouring in for former Nigerian Foreign Minister and UN Ambassador General Joseph Garba, who died over the weekend. In a statement Sunday, the president of Nigeria's Senate, Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim said, "By his death, Nigeria, and Africa, has lost one of its finest diplomats, patriots and staunch advocates of an indivisible and indissolable African continent"

Garba led Nigeria's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly from 1975 to 1978 and headed the Nigerian delegation to the OAU summit of 1976. Also in 1976, he presided over the Organization of African Unity meeting of foreign ministers on economic issues and was the leader of the Non-aligned Conference in Colombo, Sri-Lanka. From 1975 to 1978, he chaired the OAU Good Offices Committee on Arbitration of Disputes.

He was also chair of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid for 1984 to 1989.

"You will... remember his role during the struggle for South Africa's independence as the Chairman of the Apartheid seat of the United Nations, during which he also did a tremendous job and how he has transformed NIPSS within a short time," said former Military Administrator of Rivers State, Col. Dauda Komo, who also described Garba's death as a great loss.

Family members are meeting with government officials to plan a burial and tribute appropriate to Garba's record of public service, according to Nigerian newspapers.


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