All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Bola Tinubu described former US Ambassador to Nigeria Walter Carrington as a citizen of a nation, the son of two children.
Tinubu, in his tribute on Saturday, said Carrington had made a huge contribution to the inauguration of democracy in Nigeria.
He congratulated the deceased envoy for joining the fight against the repressive government in the country.
Tinubu said that during his stay in Nigeria from 1993 to 1997, Carrington witnessed how citizens experienced a troubled and uncertain time.
“We were in the clutches of an epic battle between democracy and dictatorship, between freedom and oppression, between enlightened progress and authoritarian reaction. Carrington could have maintained a diplomatic distance. He could have acted comfortably with the Abacha regime.
“His life would be less difficult and more secure. But he eschewed personal comfort for the higher price of a larger mission. He lent himself to the fight against the repressive government. He openly and unconditionally defended the advent of democratic freedom and constitutional governance.
“Without the courage and contribution of Walter Carrington, democracy may not have seen the light of day when and how it did. Of course, more of our democracy activists would have suffered and perhaps lost their lives without his extraordinary intervention. By helping to ensure the flourishing of democracy, he has become a thorn in the side of the regime and of those who simply cannot support a good democracy or free peoples.
“Of the many foreign friends that Nigeria has known over the years, Carrington was the most selfless. It is also the foreigner who contributed the most to the end of the military regime in our country. As such, he has acted way beyond the call of duty. He acted like the rare human being that he was – the son of two nations.
“To paraphrase the title of his book, he refused to be silent in an era of tyranny. He refused to be seen and dined while others were imprisoned. He refused to be feted while others were beaten. He refused to say that all was well when so many people suffered all kinds of indignities and inappropriate dangers.
“Ambassador Carrington was a rare breed. He demonstrated the power and progress that could come if only Africa and black America recognized this bond that exists between them. He saw him and fed him. It was this connection that led him to do for us as a brother, and not just an ambassador, would. For this, he had to face the danger and the attempts against him in Nigeria, ”he noted.