Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
By Chuks Okocha
Former Vice President and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has lamented the resignation of the former Secretary General of the United Nation, Kofi Annan as the UN envoy to mediate peace in Syria as unfortunate and shocking.
Atiku in a statement said, "The sudden exit of the United Nations Special Mediator to Syria, Mr. Koffi Annan comes to me with great shock and sadness, especially considering the mental and physical energies he had expended to carry out such important peace mission."
He further Stated, "His exit at a time Syria is hopelessly plunging into intractable civil war is a disturbing development to all peace lovers around the world, especially in the Middle East, which has achieved the notorious reputation of instability."
According to him, "I recognize the great sacrifices made by the former UN Secretary General who had to come out of retirement and participate actively in finding a peaceful settlement to the Syrian political crisis.
"Indeed, the zeal with which he accepted this international assignment is a tribute to Annan's commitment to peace, humanity and political stability around the world".
Atiku said, "His neutrality, impartiality, detachment and sincerity in the execution of this mediatory role has earned him the respect of world leaders” and regretted that the onerous effort at averting war in Syria has ended in frustration while the crises in that country escalates with its toll on women and children.
"However, Mr. Annan needs not feel any guilt about the frustrating circumstances that led to his exit. He did his best to bring the Syrian conflict to an amicable resolution.
"For me personally, the lip service paid to the peace efforts by the belligerent factions in the Syrian crisis should be blamed for the unfortunate exit of Mr. Annan. His best efforts to mediate in the civil war would come to nothing if the warring parties didn't demonstrate sincere commitment to peace.
Despite his exit, the world is still comforted by the selfless sacrifices made by Annan for peace.
"His exit however, should not make the world give up on Syria. The efforts for peace should go beyond Annan's exit. The greatest burden for returning Syria to normalcy is on the shoulders of the Syrian government and the rebel leaders. Syria should not and cannot continue on the path of permanent warfare," Atiku submitted.