A former minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru has died after a long battle with a brain tumour on Saturday, November 29, 2014 family sources told media.
Ashiru, who was career diplomat had been hospitalized for over three months prior to his passing at a South African hospital.
He was foreign minister under President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2013. He was Third Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, a former High Commissioner to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to Lesotho and Swaziland in 2005. He also served as ambassador to South Korea in 1991.
According to The Cable, Ashiru played a key role in the diplomatic face-off between Nigeria and South Africa in 2012 over the deportation of 125 Nigerians for not possessing valid yellow fever vaccination certificates.
When he was leaving office as minister, Ashiru said he succeeded re-energising Nigeria’s presense in international diplomacy in the post-Olusegun Obasanjo era.
“I am leaving foreign ministry as a fulfilled man considering my achievements in just two years,” he said as he revealed that he succeeded in securing 22 key international appointments for Nigerians which include the commissioner for political affairs in African Union and commissioner for peace and security at the ECOWAS commission.
Ashiru was a graduate of University of Lagos and was born on August 27, 1948 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state.