Following the personal invitation extended to him Wednesday by President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday attended the funeral service of late President Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou, the Beninese capital.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement on Thursday, said Mr. Buhari eulogized the late President Kerekou as a father of his nation and founding father of ECOWAS.
According to the statement, Mr. Buhari spoke on behalf of other African leaders at the official funeral rites of the late president, which commenced with tributes in his honour at the Stade de L’amitie.
President Buhari, who was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, described Kerekou as a beloved leader of his people and ardent advocate of international cooperation that would be greatly missed within and outside Benin Republic.
“We recall that in pursuance of his commitment to peace, stability and progress in his country, General Kerekou voluntarily established the political framework for the return of Benin Republic to democratic governance in the 1990s.
“His two democratic mandates from1996 to 2006 underscored the ardent love his people had for him as a great leader and that period witnessed great democratic freedom that continues to exist today, as the foundation for lasting peace and stability in Benin Republic”, President Buhari said.