Tinubu, Obasanjo join world leaders mourn Namibian president

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With the loss of Namibia’s president, Hage Geingob, President Bola Tinubu has sent his condolences to the country’s authorities and populace.

According to a statement from Namibia’s presidential office, Geingob passed away early on Sunday in a hospital in the country’s capital, Windhoek.

The 82-year-old, who was in the midst of his second term as president, said last month that he was going through cancer treatment.

“It is with utmost sadness and regret that I inform you that our beloved Dr. Hage G. Geingob, the President of the Republic of Namibia, has passed on today.

“At his side, was his dear wife Madame Monica Geingob, and his children,” the statement signed by acting President, Nangolo Mbumba, read on X.

Tributes for the 82-year-old statesman poured in from African leaders who saw him as a hero of democracy.

In a statement, Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said the President mourned “the painful loss of this veteran in the struggle for democracy; proponent of good governance, and advocate of economic, social, and political solidarity among African peoples.”

Also, former President Olusegun Obasanjo described the late Geingob as “a patriot and a veteran of Namibia’s independence struggle who served in top political positions since independence in 1990.”

“He made a sterling contribution to the political and socio-economic development of Namibia. In all of his undertakings, he acquitted himself as an African leader of great distinction to his country.

“Indeed, Africa has lost one of its finest sons.  He will be sorely missed by all of us,” Obasanjo said.

According to report, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed regret that his country had lost “a partner who was committed to the process of coming to terms with Germany’s colonial history.”

Also, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, in a post on X, said, “Today, South Africa joins the people of our sister state Namibia in mourning the passing of a leader, patriot and friend.

“President Geingob was a towering veteran of Namibia’s liberation from colonialism and apartheid.

“He was also greatly influential in the solidarity that the people of Namibia extended to the people of South Africa so that we could be free today.”

President William Ruto of Kenya said the late Namibian leader “was a believer of a unified Africa and strongly promoted the continent’s voice and visibility at the global arena.”

“President Geingob was a distinguished leader who served the people of Namibia with focus and dedication,” Ruto wrote on X.

According to report United States President Joe Biden, also hailed the late president as “a fearless leader, fighting for independence, overseeing the drafting of the new nation’s constitution, and serving his country twice as prime minister and finally as president.

“I will miss working with him,” Biden added.

The World Health Organisation Director, Tedros Ghebreyesus, hailed Geingob’s work to improve healthcare for Namibians, dubbing him a “visionary leader”.

On his part, Moussa Mahamat, who is the chairperson of the African Union Commission, lamented: “A baobab has fallen.”

First elected president in 2014, Geingob was Namibia’s longest-serving prime minister and third president.

In 2013, Geingob underwent brain surgery, and in 2023, underwent an aortic operation in neighbouring South Africa.

Until his death, he had been receiving treatment at Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek.

 

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