Ambassador Edward Aina, former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Japan and France, has died in Abuja, Concise News understands.
Secretary General of Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN), Ambassador Mbanefor Obiakor, announced Aina’s death.
He said the country’s former High Commissioner to Namibia, 72, died on Friday.
The respected career diplomat, Obiakor said, contributed greatly to the freedom of Southern African countries and the fight to ending apartheid in South Africa.
“He was at the Liberation Committee Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania for 8 years which gave him the rare opportunity to effectively mobilise and coordinate Nigeria’s assistance to the liberation struggle in Southern Africa,” he said in a statement.
“Indeed, he cultivated and maintained close relationship with the leaders and cells of the liberation movements from Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.
“Which helped in no small measure in the attainment of independence by these countries and the end of apartheid in South Africa.
“A walking encyclopedia of Nigeria’s foreign policy exertions and achievements of the late 1970s and through the 80s in which he played an active part.
“Ambassador Aina was a quintessential diplomat, an icon and a role model in patriotism, discipline, good order and professionalism.”
Aina was born on 2 January, 1947, in Odo-Ere, Yagba West areas of Kogi state in Nigeria’s north-central region.
“A graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, National Defence College and the University of Ibadan, he joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in 1971 and served meritoriously at home and abroad, often in sensitive and strategic positions,” the statement added.
“In retirement, he was a ranking and active member of ARCAN and was popularly referred as the Doyen of the Ministry’s Foreign Service Association otherwise called the E-Forum.”