By Ewache Ajefu
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Sunday in Addis Ababa pledged that Nigerian will work with the new leadership of Ethiopia to advance Africa’s agenda for renaissance, peace, security, stability and progress.
Paying tribute to the late Ethiopian Prime Minister at his State Funeral in the Ethiopian capital, President Jonathan said that the government and people of Ethiopia could always count on Nigeria’s support in their effort to build on Meles Zenawi’s indelible legacy of peace, stability and progress.
“It is our hope and expectation that the good people of Ethiopia will build on the immense legacy of peace, stability, unity, national cohesion and steady progress which Meles has bequeathed to his nation.
“The best way of honouring his memory is to ensure that the nation continues steadfastly along the path of harmony, stability and sustainable development which he has established.
“The people of Ethiopia can always count on Nigeria as a friend and dependable partner in their march forward and we will work with the new leadership of Ethiopia to pursue Africa’s agenda for renaissance, peace, security, stability and progress,” President Jonathan said at the funeral which was attended by several serving African leaders and former Heads of State including Nigeria’s Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Other speakers at the occasion included the current Chairman of the African Union, President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Omar Bashir of Sudan and President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan.
At a meeting with Ethiopia’s acting Prime Minister, Ato Hailemariam Desalegn soon after his arrival in Addis Ababa, President Jonathan formally conveyed Nigeria’s condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia on the death of the late Prime Minister.
Noting that Nigeria enjoyed a cordial relationship with Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi’s leadership, President Jonathan said that he looked forward to working with his successor for the mutual benefit of both countries and other African nations.
The President had earlier called at late Prime Minister’s Official Residence to sign a condolence register, lay a wreath besides his casket and offer personal condolences to his wife and members of his family.