President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of Saudi Arabia’s longest-serving Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani.
The former minister died at a London hospital at 90.
Reacting to the passing, Buhari said “Yamani was one of the greatest and most skilful negotiators I ever met when I was Minister for Petroleum Resources during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime.”
According to the President, “the late Yamani was a towering figure in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC because of his remarkable leadership skills and fierce commitment to protecting the interests of oil-producing countries.”
He recalled that “the 1973 oil embargo drew world attention to the tremendous influence of Yamani in the affairs of the oil cartel.”
“Whether you love him or loathe him, there is no denying the fact that Zaki Yamani was a powerful force in OPEC affairs who commanded respect and admiration of friends and foes alike,” he said of the late Saudi Oil Minister.
He added that “as one of the younger Oil Ministers representing their countries at OPEC, I was awed and inspired by Yamani’s remarkable leadership skills and diplomatic finesse.”
He described Yamani as a lucky man who survived terrorist captivity after being taken hostage by the notorious terrorist ‘Carlos the Jackal’ in 1973.
The President extended his condolences to King Salman and the government of Saudi Arabia over what he called “this immense loss of a world statesman and consummate Oil Minister.”