The United States Government on Monday expressed its condolences to the family of a Mandela Washington Fellow, John Usman, who died in an accident in the US while hiking.

The US Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria said in a statement that it was saddened by the news of Usman’s death while hiking near Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US.

It said: “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 in an accident while hiking near Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the 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.”

The statement described Usman as a rising star, devoted to the causes of sustainable development, children’s rights and peace building in Nigeria.

It said his selection to the Mandela Washington Fellowship programme was because of his drive, talent and dedication to making his country’s civil society even stronger.

It said: “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.”

Usman was part of some 100 Nigerians now in the US under the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship programme.

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