Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Nigerian YALI Fellow dies in the US

It seem so many great people are fallen in this month of June but it's breaks our heart even more that such a young man with a promising future had to bow out so early. Especially at a time when he could have done a lot for his dear country.

It was a black Saturday for many Nigerians as the news broke that John Paul Ojaojogwu Usman, one of the 100 Nigerians selected for year 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship (also known as YALI) in US died on Saturday June 25th. John reportedly had an accident while hiking near the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Before his demise, he was at the school studying Civic Leadership.

As soon as the report of his death was confirmed, the U.S. Mission to Nigeria issued the following statement:

"The U.S. Mission to Nigeria and our colleagues in the United States were deeply saddened to learn of the death of John Paul Ojaojogwu Usman. On June 25, John Paul died due to an accident while hiking near Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he was studying civic leadership as a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow.
We extend our deepest condolences to John Paul’s family and friends over this tragic loss. John Paul was a rising star, devoted to the causes of sustainable development, children’s rights, and peace building in Nigeria. His selection to the Mandela Washington Fellowship was a tribute to his drive, talent, and dedication to making his country’s civil society even stronger. One of John Paul’s professional mentors at Virginia Tech put it best, “While his time with us was short, he was well loved.” This young man will be remembered fondly as a great citizen ambassador of his country. We mourn his passing."

John will be greatly missed but his impact and legacy surely lives on. May his good soul rest in peace!

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