Chief Ernest Shonekan, the former head of the Interim National Government that succeeded the military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida, is dead.
Shonekan, a boardroom guru before his selection to head the Interim National Government, died in Lagos at the age of 85.
He was the Chairman of the interim National Government between August 26 and November 17 1993 when he was ousted in a palace coup led by late General Sani Abacha who was Secretary of Defence.
Family confirms death, to release further details
In a statement on Tuesday signed by Adeboye Shonekan, the family confirmed the demise of their patriarch, adding that further details would be released.
The statement was titled, ‘Chief (Dr) Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan, GCFR, CBE’.
It read, “To the glory of the Almighty, the Shonekan family announces the passing of our patriarch, loving husband to Margaret, dutiful father to us all and former Head of State, Chief Ernest, Adegunle, Oladeinde Shonekan, GCFR, CBE, the Baba Sale of Egbaland.
“He passed this morning of natural causes at the age of 85.
“The family will release further details in due course.”
Nigeria owes a great debt to Shonekan, Buhari mourns
In a condolence message, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), noted that “Shonekan demonstrated to all that the love for country and commitment to her development, peace and unity transcend the trappings of office and the transient nature of political power.”
The message was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘President Buhari Pays Tribute To The Life, Legacy Of Chief Shonekan’.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has received with profound sadness the news of the death of a great statesman and former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.
“On behalf of the Federal Government, the President extends deepest condolences to Chief Shonekan’s wife, Margaret, loved ones, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.
“As an internationally-respected statesman, President Buhari affirms that, with courageous wisdom, Chief Shonekan left his flourishing business career to become the Head of Government, at a delicate time when the country needed someone of his calm mien and pedigree to save the ship of state from sinking.
“The President notes that Chief Shonekan demonstrated to all that the love for country and commitment to her development, peace and unity transcend the trappings of office and the transient nature of political power.
“President Buhari believes that Nigeria owes a great debt to Chief Shonekan, the peacemaker, who even at the twilight of his lifetime never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country.
“The President prays that the memory of the departed Head of Government will remain a blessing to Nigeria even as he finds perfect peace with Almighty God.”
Senate President mourns former Head of Interim National Govt, Ernest Shonekan
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has mourned former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, who died on Tuesday at 85.
Lawan condoles with Chief Shonekan’s family, the Government and people of Ogun State over the death of the former Nigerian leader.
“My condolences go to the family of Chief Shonekan, the Government and people of Ogun State and entire Nigeria over this great loss.
“Chief Shonekan was a lawyer, business captain, boardroom guru and statesman. But he will be most remembered for heeding the nation’s call to duty at a very turbulent period in the history of Nigeria.
“Chief Shonekan’s services as Chairman of the Transitional Council and later as Head of the Interim National Government were selfless and contributed greatly to saving the Nigerian ship from hitting the rock,” Lawan says.
The Senate President prays for the sweet repose of the soul of the elder statesman and for his loved ones the fortitude to bear his loss.
Oyetola mourns Ex-ING leader, Ernest Shonekan
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has mourned the death of former head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan who died Tuesday morning.
Oyetola in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, said he received the news of Shonekan’s demise with sadness.
He extended his heartfelt condolences to the wife of the deceased, Mrs. Margaret, the entire Shonekan family, government and people of Ogun State.
The governor noted that the Abeokuta-born elder statesman and industrialist was an exceptional leader who in and out of office, demonstrated strong commitment to the peace, unity and development of Nigeria.
He said the late Shonekan who led the country at a very challenging and delicate time would long be remembered for his courage, selfess and patriotic service to his fatherland.
“On behalf of my family, government and people of Osun, I commiserate with the wife of Chief Ernest Shonekan, his family, government and people of Ogun State. I pray God grant the soul of Chief Shonekan eternal rest and give his beloved wife, family and the people of Ogun State the fortitude to bear his loss,” Oyetola said.
Gbajabiamila mourns Shonekan
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has described the death of the former head of Nigeria’s interim government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, as a painful loss.
Shonekan, who served between August 26 and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday in Lagos at the age of 85.
Gbajabiamila said Chief Shonekan’s death has created a vacuum among the league of elder statesmen in the country.
He recalled how Shonekan was called to serve his fatherland at a critical time in Nigeria’s history, noting that the late elder statesman did so with patriotism, zeal and commitment.
The Speaker prayed that the Almighty God would find a peaceful resting place for the late head of interim government.
He sent his condolences to the Shonekan family and all Nigerians, especially the people and government of Lagos State.