The President, Muhammadu Buhari; the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji; and the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, were among dignitaries who on Thursday mourned the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Demola Seriki.
Seriki, a former Minister of State for Defence and Minister of State for the Interior, died in Madrid, Spain on Thursday. He was aged 63.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Seriki’s death left the government in shock.
“At this trying period of loss, pain and reflection, the President urges family members, the diplomatic corps, friends and relatives to approximate the legacies of the diplomat, especially in nation building,” the statement partly read.
Tinubu, in a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, described the deceased as a friend, associate and patriot.
“We are all deeply touched by this unexpected passing. I must, however, offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family, particularly his wives and children,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu also described Seriki’s death as a painful and shocking loss to Lagos State and Nigeria.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday, said the death of Seriki came at a time when his wealth of experience was most needed in the country.
“The death of Chief Demola is a big loss to Lagos State and Nigeria, especially the diplomatic community. He made a lot of positive impact and contributions during his lifetime to the growth and development of Nigeria as a notable politician, minister and ambassador. He particularly made a significant impact in Lagos politics as a member of the ruling party,” he said.
Governor Oyebanji, in a statement on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, titled, “Gov. Oyebanji mourns Seriki”, described the late envoy as a highly refined politician, seasoned administrator, patriotic leader who saw politics and public service as an avenue to serve and contribute to nation building.
Also, Obasa described Seriki’s sudden demise as shocking beyond description.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eromosele Ebhomele, “I am devastated. I lost a brother, who loved his country and showed that passion to see it succeed. As an ambassador, he worked assiduously to improve the image of Nigeria helping our country earn international respect.”
The Federal Government has also mourned the deceased in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli.
“The Federal Government commiserates with the family of late Ambassador Seriki and prays that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. The burial arrangements will be announced by his family,” the statement read in part.