Washington, DC - We were saddened to learn of the passing yesterday of Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye. Nigeria lost a distinguished ambassador who will be dearly missed. On behalf of the people of the United States and President Obama, we express our deepest condolences to his wife and his family.

Over the past five years under Ambassador Adefuye’s leadership, we enjoyed a collaborative and open dialogue that yielded real results such as the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, a strategic dialogue that succeeded in expanding mutual cooperation across a broad range of shared interests. Ambassador Adefuye helped build the Commission into a collaborative forum that has resulted in progress on issues critical to Nigeria’s and the United States’ shared future.

A former Fulbright scholar and participant of the International Visitor Exchange Program, Ambassador Adefuye had a keen understanding of the United States and developed strong relationships with his American colleagues. His last major assignment as Ambassador was to receive President Muhammadu Buhari and his delegation during the president’s official visit to the United States in July, during which President Buhari met with President Obama and other senior U.S. officials. The success of this visit speaks to Ambassador Adefuye’s skill as a diplomat. His tenure helped significantly strengthen the U.S.-Nigerian partnership.