Obasanjo Mourns Kaunda, Recounts Last Moment With Ex - President Of Zambia - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, June 17, 2021

Obasanjo Mourns Kaunda, Recounts Last Moment With Ex - President Of Zambia

                       •Kenneth Kaunda 

By Godwin Akomah, Abeokuta 

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,  has mourned the death of Kenneth Kaunda, saying his exit at 97 on Thursday brought to the end the generation of pioneers and forefathers who led the struggles for decolonisation of the African continent and received the instrument of Independence from the colonial masters in Africa. 

Obasanjo said was welcomed  to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the sad news of the death of the first President of the Republic of Zambia and a founding father of the nation, shortly after he arrived the Ethiopian capital.

The Nigerian elder statesman added that he had taken solace in the knowledge that President Kaunda has gone home to  observe a well-deserved rest.

Obasanjo disclosed in a statement in Abeokuta,  the Ogun state capital, by his media aide,  Kehinde Akinyemi.

In a tribute with caption: "GONE IS THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS: TRIBUTE TO KENNETH KAUNDA," Obasanjo noted that Kaunda would proudly take his place beside his brothers such as Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal, Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, Félix Houphouët-Boigny of Côte d'Ivoire, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Nelson Mandela of South Africa among others. 

He recalled his last moment with pioneer leader of Republic  of Zambia, lamenting that the nonagenarian did not only break down weeping for Africa barely six years ago, but also visibly pained and disappointed about some of the challenges plaguing the continent for decades since independence. 

"In December 2015, I visited President Kaunda at his home in Lusaka in what was to be our last meeting. As we discussed about everything from family to politics in our two countries and indeed in Africa generally, I asked him if the Africa that we have today is the Africa for which he and his contemporaries struggled and fought. President Kaunda was visibly pained in his response and at some point he broke down and wept. It was obvious to me how disappointed he was about some of the challenges that have plagued our continent for decades since independence. 

"As we mourn President Kaunda, my prayer is that the death of this great African son and leader will remind us of the sacrifices that he and his contemporaries who fought for Africa’s independence made. Let it remind us of the vision that they had for Africa; their hopes and aspirations; their dream for a free, strong, united and prosperous Africa. Let us, African leaders and people, never let the labour of these heroes past be in vain," Obasanjo said. 

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