FORMER Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan says Dr Kenneth Kaunda was not only of very great significance to Africa’s struggle for liberation but was also quite significant to him.
Joining other African leaders in commiserating with Zambia and the continent on the passing of Dr Kaunda, Jonathan said he met KK as a much younger politician and he was glad to have maintained a close relationship with the great sage.
He said Kaunda was a specimen of the highest level of patriotism.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing on of former Zambian president and foremost Pan-Africanist Dr Kenneth Kaunda who died [Thursday] at the age of 97 years. He was also a strong promoter of Pan-Africanism, an
idea that has reached maturity with the African Continental Free Trade Area, which itself was a product of the vision of men and women like Mr Kaunda,” Jonathan said.
He said Dr Kaunda’s life was a pattern of good works, and his post presidential work in providing relief for HIV/AIDS patients, as well as promoting practices and measures to curb the spread of the virus were remembered.
He recalled that during his time as the governor of Bayelsa State in 2006, ‘Pa Kaunda’ visited and spent two days with them in Yenagoa, because of their shared interest in the protection of peoples against HIV/AIDS.
“I recall the impressive pace displayed by Kaunda, then aged 82 years, at the symbolic Three Arms Walk for HIV/AIDS on the streets of Yenagoa. He visited me a couple of times when I was in office as President of Nigeria. We last saw each other in 2016 when I visited him while I was in Zambia as Head of African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission,” he said.
Jonathan added that Dr Kaunda would be greatly missed and fondly remembered across the entire continent.
“On behalf of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation and my family, I condolence with the government and people of the Republic of Zambia on the passing of their foremost founding father. I pray for fortitude to his immediate family,” said Jonathan.