President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan are mourning the loss of former head of Nigeria’s interim national government, Ernest Shonekan.
Buhari, in a statement on Tuesday issued by his spokesman Femi Adesina, extended condolences to Shonekan’s wife, Margaret, loved ones, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.
The president affirmed that, with courageous wisdom, 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.
Buhari 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 president added that he believed that Nigeria owes a great debt to Shonekan who even at the twilight of his life never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country.
On the other hand, Jonathan described Shonekan as “an elder statesman, well-loved for his sincerity and sense of purpose.”
He said: “As a leader, Chief Shonekan was well respected because of the enormous goodwill he brought into governance. He was a compassionate and determined administrator, a peacemaker and bridge-builder who stepped in to lead the nation at a very difficult time in the history of its political evolution.
“Before he assumed office as the head of the Interim National Government in 1993, Chief Shonekan had become a boardroom guru, having established himself as a foremost industrialist and one of the leaders of the business world.
“He left enduring legacies, part of which was his considerable effort towards mainstreaming the private sector in the development drive of the nation, especially with the institutionalisation of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), which he founded.”