President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed grief over the death of former Saudi Arabia’s longest serving Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Yamani who died at a London hospital at age 90.
In a statement by his Media Assistant, Garba Shehu, President Buhari described Yamani as one of the greatest and most skilful negotiators he has ever met while he was Minister for Petroleum Resources during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime.
“The late Yamani was an influential 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,” The President said.
He recollected 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,” Buhari said of the late Saudi Oil Minister.
The president 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 also reflected on Yamani’s incredible survival of the terrorist captivity in 1973 where was taken hostage by the notorious terrorist ‘Carlos the Jackal’.
President Buhari termed Yamani’s demise an “immense loss of a world statesman and consummate Oil Minister” and extended his condolences to King Salman, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the government of Saudi Arabia.