President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday described the last leader of the former Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, as “a courageous reformer who will be remembered for years to come because of his immeasurable contributions to world peace and openness in his own once rigidly closed society.”
Gorbachev died on Tuesday at the age of 91.
Reacting, Buhari said, “the late Gorbachev was a remarkable gentleman whose reformist agenda had fundamentally changed the Soviet society through his policy of Perestroika and Glasnost, both of which set the stage for economic and political transformation of his own country and that of others in the defunct Soviet Union.”
Buhari, in a condolence message by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Gorbachev died ‘without achieving his dream of a nuclear-free world.’
The president explained that “although Gorbachev’s political career was consumed by those reforms, history and posterity will be kind to him for placing the interests of the Soviet people above his own ambition.”
According to him, “the impact of Gorbachev’s legacy was not limited to the former Soviet Union, but it also affected the wider world, such as his voluntary dissolution of the Warsaw Pact military alliance in pursuit of permanent peace in the world.
“We cannot forget in a hurry how Gorbachev advocated for the destruction of nuclear weapons by both the former Soviet Union and the United States during his meeting with Ronald Reagan.
“Although Gorbachev died without achieving his dream of a nuclear-free world, his genuine commitment to durable international peace and security would never be forgotten,” the Nigerian leader added.