NEW YORK, 24 October 2005 - UNICEF expressed deep regret today at the passing of Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria, who died on Sunday after undergoing surgery.
UNICEF extended its heartfelt sympathies to President Olusegun Obasanjo and to the people of Nigeria for this sudden and unfortunate loss.
“Nigeria has lost a wonderful and tireless advocate for children”, UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman said Monday. “Mrs. Obasanjo worked passionately to touch and transform the lives of the most underprivileged children and women. Her inspiring leadership and commitment will be deeply missed.”
Mrs. Obasanjo pioneered the Care Trust for Children in Nigeria, dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities and children suffering from abuse, discrimination and neglect. She also campaigned strongly to improve conditions for women giving birth and to reduce the number of women who die during childbirth.
UNICEF also lamented the tragic loss of life from the Bellview Airlines plane crash in Nigeria over the weekend and offered condolences to the families who lost loved ones.
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For more information, please contact:
Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media / New York (+1 212) 326 7261