Monday, August 2, 2010

Tributes to Dr. Sanders (Leadership Newspaper)

Nigeria: Tributes as Sanders Bids Farewell
Innocent Odoh
Leadership (Abuja)
1 August 2010

Abuja — Outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Robin Renee Sanders was at the weekend showered with praises as she prepares to depart Nigeria at the end of August after a meritorious service that spanned about three years as the US envoy.

Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Henry Odein Ajumogobia, said during a colourful ceremony in honour of Sanders at her residence, that Dr. Sanders had distinguished herself with candour, knowledge and intellect in the dispensation of her career demands.

He stressed that Sanders epitomized the warm diplomatic relations between US and Nigeria, which had flourished over the years and carved a niche for herself in propagating the great image of America just as her predecessors did.Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, also added his voice to the glowing tributes, saying that Sanders embodied mutual respect and passion for industrial and commercial initiatives, which had immensely contributed to the development of Nigeria.

He acknowledged her ceaseless efforts in enlisting the US support in the sanitization of the banking sector in Nigeria and her unflinching support for women empowerment. In her remarks, Dr. Sanders recounted her memorable experience serving in Nigeria and the incredible support she got from Team Nigeria. She thanked the Nigerian government for the warm treatment she received during her service as an ancestral sister of the soil and a friend.

She declared US support for Nigeria in her quest for transparent elections as she advocated total rehabilitation of the Niger Delta militants. She admonished the country in her "My at 50 list for Nigeria" message to give sincere priority to credible elections, food security and education.

Her words: " you are at a point where speaking out for credible elections must turn into reality- and thoughtful consideration as to how you get there, what choices you make, what path you take to have a transparent election so that the conduct of your polls can secure your democratic destiny. And I know that the new INEC is trying to do these things".