The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, who died last Wednesday as a
citizen of one nation, son of two.
In a tribute to the late ambassador yesterday, Tinubu said
Carrington came to Nigeria “on a diplomatic assignment, but his true mission was even more sublime. Walter was both an African and an American. This identity he knew full well for it shaped who he was and guided what he did.”
Tinubu, who collaborated with Carrington in the struggle for democracy in Nigeria observed that the late ambassador lent himself to the fight against repressive government in Nigeria.
According to the APC leader, Carrington openly and unconditionally championed the advent of democratic freedom and constitutional governance in the country.
He said: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington. We thank God
for giving Ambassador Carrington a long life of 90 years full of
exemplary deeds and the best of human achievement.
“We thank God for giving Nigeria Walter Carrington when He did. Carrington came to Nigeria on a diplomatic assignment, but his true mission was even more sublime. Walter was both an African and an American.
“This identity he knew fully well for it shaped who he was and guided what he did. The best of both worlds was evident in him. This man may have been the citizen of one country but he was surely the brave and passionate son of two nations.
“Last month, I penned a tribute to Carrington as Nigeria joined him in celebrating his 90th birthday. Little did any of us know that we would so soon have to say farewell to this outstanding example of courage amidst humility, of intellect teamed with compassion.
“Carrington was a renowned scholar, author, and astute, innovative diplomat. These things are excellent but they don’t tell the full picture. He was much more than that. He was a proud and noble black man who stood up for his convictions when it would have been easier to simply turn and look the other way.
“As American Ambassador to Nigeria (1993-1997), Carrington
lived with us during a troubled and uncertain time. We were in
the clutches of an epic battle between democracy and
dictatorship, between freedom and oppression, between
enlightened progress and authoritarian reaction.
“Carrington could have maintained a diplomatic distance. He could have acted cozily with the Abacha regime. His life would have been less
difficult and safer. But he eschewed personal comfort for the
higher prize of a greater mission.
“He lent himself to the fight against repressive government. He openly and unconditionally championed the advent of democratic freedom and constitutional governance. Without the courage and contributions of Walter Carrington, democracy might not have come when, and as it did.
“Certainly, more of our democracy activists would have suffered and perhaps lost their lives but for his extraordinary intervention. In helping to secure the blossom of democracy, he became a thorn
in the side of the regime and of those who simply could not stand a
good democracy or people being free,” Tinubu wrote in a tribute to the late ambassador