Buhari, Sanwo-Olu Pay Condolence Visit To Ernest Shonekan’s Family

President Muhammadu Buhari at the Shonekan residence in Lagos State on January 13, 2022.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited the Lagos residence of a former Nigerian leader, Ernest Shonekan.

Shonekan, the head of the Interim National Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Lagos.

Two days after his demise, Buhari was in the Shonekan’s Ikoyi residence to commiserate with the deceased family.

READ ALSO: Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

The President was accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ogun and Yobe counterparts, Dapo Abiodun and Mai Mala Buni.

See photos below:

President Muhammadu Buhari at the Shonekan residence in Lagos State on January 13, 2022.

‘Shonekan, A Unifying Force For Nigeria,’ Obasanjo Consoles Ex-Leader’s Widow

A combination of file photos of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and late Chief Ernest Shonekan.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, as a unifying force for the nation.

He declared that his contribution to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

Obasanjo, in a condolence letter to Mrs Margaret Shonekan, said the business mogul was “a role model and an epitome of the good in the nation’s business firmament of mixed blessings.

READ ALSO: God Will Not Forgive PDP If We Fail To Rescue Nigeria – Wike

A copy of the letter was made available to reporters in Abeokuta on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.

According to the elder statesman, Shonekan will be remembered as a man of sustained strong will to succeed.

He stated that as the Interim National Government in Nigeria in1993, Shonekan rendered outstanding service to the country, and the people would never forget that.

Obasanjo also commended the former Nigerian leader for the various national assignments executed years after he left office, including his roles as Special Envoy on the Implementation of the Abuja Agreement on Zimbabwe in 2001, and Chairman of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in 2008, saying he was forthright, dedicated and showed great patriotism in the discharge of his duties.

He added that Shonekan was a unifying force for the nation, saying in all situations, he lived nobly and he died in nobility.

Read the former President’s letter to Shonekan’s widow below:

January 11, 2022

Chief (Mrs.) Margaret O. Shonekan,

Lugard House, One Lugard Avenue,

Falomo Ikoyi, Lagos.

LETTER OF CONDOLENCE

I have just received, while currently on international assignment as the High Representative of the African Union for the Horn of Africa, with great shock, the news of the death of your beloved husband and one of the illustrious sons of Africa, a community leader, a distinguished business baron and an exemplary leader in the private sector and, of course, the former Chairman of UAC Nigeria Limited, Chief Ernest Shonekan, with an admixture of joy for a life well spent and sadness for the loss of a beloved man after God’s heart and a noble Chief of Egbaland and former Nigerian Head of State.

Chief Shonekan was a role model and an epitome of the good in the nation’s business firmament of mixed blessings. He would be remembered as a man of sustained strong will to succeed.

Coming from humble background, rising, stepping, and peaking at the topmost plum in corporate management, and the very top of the giant United Africa Company (UAC) ladder, attest to his sagacity, tenacity, and steadfastness.

He founded, in 1994, the Economic Summit Group, an advocacy group and think tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy, and it remains, till today, sustaining the legacy of helping to support stakeholders in the execution of policies, programmes, and strategies in response to any emerging trends in national and global economies.

Yet at the hour of great achievement and undisguised success, Chief Shonekan did not lose the common touch and sense of service to family and his wider community.

On the political scene, Chief Shonekan, as the Head of the Interim National Government in Nigeria in1993, though short-lived for the period of three months through the palace coup orchestrated by General Sani Abacha, rendered outstanding service to our country, and we will never forget that.

It is also worthy of note that as Special Envoy on the Implementation of the Abuja Agreement on Zimbabwe in 2001 under my administration as the President of Nigeria; and Chairman, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), under Yar’Adua’s administration in 2008, he was forthright, dedicated and showed great patriotism in the discharge of his duties.

He was a unifying force for the nation and his contribution to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

In all situations, he lived nobly, and he died in nobility. He was an achiever. Indeed, Chief Shonekan died at a time the country is in dire need of his leadership, wealth of experience, and wisdom to tackle the multifaceted challenges facing the nation.

While expressing, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, our sympathies to you and the entire members of your family as well as to the government and the good people of Ogun State, it is our prayer that the Almighty God will grant him eternal rest and comfort all those he left behind.

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO

‘Shonekan’s Death Is A Colossal Loss To Nigeria’ – Abiodun, Bello Mourn

Photo combination of Governors Dapo Abiodun (L), Yahaya Bello (R) and Ernest Shonekan.

 

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and his Kogi State counterpart, Yahaya Bello have mourned former Nigerian leader, Ernest Shonekan, describing his death as a colossal loss to the nation.

Shonekan, the head of the Interim National Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Lagos.

Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said the Egba born British-trained lawyer, industrialist and traditional chief, passed on at a period Nigeria needed his experience most as a technocrat.

READ ALSO: Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

“Chief Shonekan was a first-class administrator, boardroom guru and astute leader whose imprint in the business and political firmaments cannot be erased. His commitment to a peaceful resolution and patriotic fervour will live after him,” the governor was quoted as saying.

“Chief Shonekan, an Egba traditional chief (Babasale of Egbaland), was a true Nigerian who spent most of his life for the betterment of the country.”

The governor prayed for the repose of the deceased’s soul and that God will comfort his immediate family and the Egba Traditional Council.

Similarly, Governor Bello said the late Nigerian leader would be sorely be missed by everyone, including the Kogi State Government.

In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, the Kogi Governor expressed shock over the death of Shonekan.

Shonekan, he stated, contributed immensely to the unity, progress and political developments of the country, adding that his release of political prisoners detained by the military government within three months in office united the country more along ethnic and political lines.

Bello described Shonekan as a strong leader who had always spoken truth to power and was passionate about national interest.

He sympathised with the family and relations of the late Interim Head of State, the people of Egbaland and the Government and people of Ogun State over the passage and prayed for God to grant his soul eternal rest.

Ernest Shonekan: FG Orders National Flag To Fly At Half-Mast

A soldier marching past a flag being flown at half-mast. President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast in honour of the late Ernest Shonekan.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast, effective from the 12th to 14th of January, 2022, as a mark of respect for the former Head of State Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan, (GCFR) who died on Tuesday, January 11.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Chief Ernest Shonekan, who headed the Interim National Government that succeeded the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, died on Tuesday at the age of 85.

He was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, but was ousted in a coup led by late General Sani Abacha.

Read Also: David Umahi Declares Interest To Run For President In 2023

Shonekan was a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC) before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1993.

He was born on May 9, 1936, in Lagos into the family of an Abeokuta-born civil servant. He was educated at CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College.

He received a law degree from the University of London and was called to the bar. He later attended Harvard Business School.

Shonekan joined the UAC in 1964. He rose through the ranks in the company and was promoted to an assistant legal adviser. He later became a deputy adviser and joined the board of directors at the age of 40.

He was made chairman and managing director in 1980 and went on to cultivate a wide array of international business and political connections.

On January 2, 1993, Shonekan assumed office as head of the transitional council and head of government under General Babangida.

At the time, the transitional council was designed to be the final phase leading to a scheduled handover to an elected democratic leader of the Third Nigerian Republic.

Babangida later resigned from office in August 1993, following the annulment of the 12 June presidential election. He had signed a decree establishing the Interim National Government led by Shonekan who was subsequently sworn-in as Head of State.

Three months into his administration, Shonekan was overthrown in a palace coup by Abacha in November that year.

In 1994, he founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy.

Since then, Shonekan went on to feature prominently as an elder statesman.

At the time of his death, he was the third oldest surviving Nigerian Head of State after Queen Elizabeth II and General Yakubu Gowon.

‘Nigeria Has Lost An Uncommon Patriot’; IBB Mourns Shonekan

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (retired).

 

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), has mourned the late Chief Ernest Shonekan, describing him as an uncommon patriot and one of the cerebral minds of his regime.

General Babangida said this in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the news of his death was shocking and is a great loss to the country.

Read his full statement below.

The shocking news of the death of one of Nigeria’s finest brains and patriots came to me this morning with helpless awe.

I hadn’t the faintest idea that Chief Ernest Shonekan would depart this sinful world too soon, even at 85. He was a man, a leader, and an uncommon patriot who had a presence of mind and whose understanding of Nigeria was profound and remarkable. It is indeed a personal loss to me.

Chief Ernest Shonekan was one of our cerebral minds during our time in government. He was the architect of our principle of the free-market economy which helped to open up the system for robust participation by the private sector.

The liberalisation of the economy, the investment and boost in the agricultural sector and budget management approach were part of his brainchild. I recollect very vividly how he used to give us tutorials on budget, planning, and management of national resources, each time he was invited to our session.

At each budget year, Chief Shonekan would be invited to critique our budget proposals and gave us further input to enrich the final budget. He was a man of ideas and ideals. He was prudent and preached so much about fiscal discipline.

It was, therefore, timely for us to appoint him as Head of the Interim Government to help stabilize the polity at a most trying period of our country’s political evolution. He was a calm personality whose managerial skills were foretold in the way and manner he managed a lot of blue-chip companies.

As Head of the Interim Government, he was able to consult with a broad spectrum of the Nigerian populace in charting a roadmap out of the political impasse at that time.

His brilliance and meticulous interrogation of situations helped in large measure to forge ahead during the period. I owe personal gratitude to him throughout his sojourn on earth as we maintained a very robust mutual relationship after his exit from the corridors of power.

Given the achievements, we recorded during our time in government in the area of infrastructure, economy, and social rebirth, I owe a word of gratitude to him for his experienced intervention in helping to dissect our policy frameworks each time we called upon him to do so.

He was an engaging personality whose sense of patriotism was total. He was friendly and sociable. He understood the economy and made so many projections that helped us to bail the country out of the economic conundrum. We benefited from his immense knowledge, experience, and brilliance.

May the Almighty God console his family and other Nigerians who had a relationship with this gentle giant of quintessential orientation.

May God grant his soul eternal rest. Nigeria has lost a patriot, an urbane and refined gentleman, a thoroughbred boardroom maestro, and a cosmopolitan mind who was devoted to his country.

Rest in peace Chief Ernest Shonekan. May God grant the family, associates and friends the fortitude to bear with this priceless loss.

Nigeria Owes A Great Debt To Ernest Shonekan, The Peacemaker – Buhari

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Ernest Shonekan.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the demise of Ernest Shonekan, the Nigerian leader who headed the Interim National Government, saying Nigeria owes a great debt to him.

Shonekan, who was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Lagos.

President Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he received the news with profound sadness.

READ ALSO: Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

He extended condolences to Shonekan’s wife, Margaret as well as the government and people of Ogun State.

“President Buhari believes that Nigeria owes a great debt to Chief Shonekan, the peacemaker, who even at the twilight of his life never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country,” the statement read.

“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.

“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 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.”

Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

File photo: Chief Ernest Shonekan

 

Chief Ernest Shonekan, who headed the Interim National Government that succeeded the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, has died.

He died on Tuesday, January 11, at a hospital in Lagos.

The news of his death was confirmed to Channels Television by the Ogun State government.

Shonekan was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993.

He was ousted in a coup led by late General Sani Abacha.

Shonekan was a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC) before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1993.

READ ALSO: Bashir Tofa, Former Presidential Candidate, Dies At 74

He was born on May 9, 1936, in Lagos into the family of an Abeokuta-born civil servant. He was educated at CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College.

He received a law degree from the University of London and was called to the bar. He later attended Harvard Business School.

Shonekan joined the UAC in 1964. He rose through the ranks in the company and was promoted to an assistant legal adviser. He later became a deputy adviser and joined the board of directors at the age of 40.

He was made chairman and managing director in 1980 and went on to cultivate a wide array of international business and political connections.

On January 2, 1993, Shonekan assumed office as head of the transitional council and head of government under General Babangida.

At the time, the transitional council was designed to be the final phase leading to a scheduled handover to an elected democratic leader of the Third Nigerian Republic.

Babangida later resigned from office in August 1993, following the annulment of the 12 June presidential election. He had signed a decree establishing the Interim National Government led by Shonekan who was subsequently sworn-in as Head of State.

Three months into his administration, Shonekan was overthrown in a palace coup by Abacha in November that year.

In 1994, he founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy.

Since then, Shonekan went on to feature prominently as an elder statesman.

At the time of his death, he was the third oldest surviving Nigerian Head of State after Queen Elizabeth II and General Yakubu Gowon.

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017

Nigerian Leaders Optimistic About Greater 2017Nigeria’s former leaders and current Vice President, Yemi Osibajo, have collaborated to release a hymn in which they advocated a greater, united and more peaceful Nigeria in the year 2017.

Singing Isaac Watts’ hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” were: the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former Chairman of Nigeria Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan, Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and Former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Admiral, Ebitu Ukiwe.

The VIP choristers released a video recording of the rendition on Monday.

Thereafter, in a goodwill messages to Nigerians, Yakubu Gowown said: “We pray to God, to continue to grant us that peace and unity that this country dearly deserves”.

They believe that: “In spite of the mess we tried to make of the country, God manages to always rescue us when we get to the edge of the precipice and we thank him for that”.

Furthermore, they expressed gratitude to God for “accepting and accommodating us, despite the mess we’ve made of ourselves”.

Meanwhile, speaking on the state of the country, Obasanjo believes that “God created Nigeria as we are, and he doesn’t make a mistake. So, we should thank him for that”.

Mr Shonekan, also encouraged citizens to continue to work hard in order to achieve desired results.

The former leaders equally expressed appreciation to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Mr Osinbajo, for coming up with the idea of bringing them together to render the song.

Chief Ernest Shonekan Celebrates 80th Birthday

Ernest ShonekanThe story of Chief Ernest Shonekan’s life is one centered on merit, humility and service to humanity, and that was re-echoed when the British-trained lawyer, industrialist, Baba Isale of Egbaland and former Interim President of Nigeria turned 80.

The celebrant, who takes his Christian faith seriously together with his dear wife Margret and their lovely children, began the special birthday event with a thanksgiving service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina in Lagos

The occasion saw several important guests honouring Chief Shonekan in a service officiated by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh.

The special guests include former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and wife Victoria; former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme and wife Helen; Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and wife Olufunso, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Idiat Adegbule.

Others are former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma and wife Senator Daisy; Chairman of FCMB, Otunba Shubomi Balogun and wife Adebutu; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Micheal Adedotun Gbadebo amongst others

Indeed, it was a special day as they joined him on the altar for thanksgiving and then sang a special birthday song for him.

Students from his Alma Mata, CMS Grammar School Lagos, also did a special presentation in his honour.

The social part of the celebration kicked off right away with veteran juju music maestro, Ebenezer Obey, dishing out some of his evergreen tunes in honour of the celebrant and to the delight of his A-list guests.

More important guests joined the party, like ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and wife Olori Wuraola; former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and former Governor of Lagos, Chief Mobolaji Johnson.

Business mogul, Chief Razaq Okoya and wife Shade; Justice George Oguntade and wife; Chairman of Doyin Group, Mr Samuel Adedoyin; and the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Relations and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also shared in the fun.

Chief Ernest Shonekan was born on the May 9, 1936 in Lagos. He is a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and was the former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC), before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida on August 26, 1993.

Chief Shonekan’s transitional administration only lasted three months before General Sani Abacha took over on November 17, 1993.

President Jonathan Sends Birthday Wishes To Shonekan, Nwobodo

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has felicitated with Chief Ernest Shonekan on the occasion of his 79th birthday anniversary, saying that Nigeria owes the former Head of State a huge debt of gratitude for his immense contributions to national development.

“On behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I write to felicitate with you on the occasion of your 79th birthday anniversary, on May 9, 2015.

“Over the years, you have always readily given of yourself to the cause of peace, stability,

growth and development in our country, Nigeria. For this, we owe you an enduring debt of gratitude,” President Jonathan wrote to Chief Shonekan.Jonathan

The President wished Chief Shonekan a very happy birthday and prayed that God Almighty will continue to guide and bless him.

According to a statement by the Presidency, President Jonathan similarly felicitated with Chief Jim Nwobodo who celebrates his 75th birthday on Saturday, May 9.

In a congratulatory letter to the former Governor of old Anambra State, President Jonathan noted that Chief Nwobodo had every cause to celebrate and thank God Almighty for His benevolence on the joyful occasion of his 75th birthday anniversary.

“In a life that has seen you reach the apex of your entrepreneurial, public service and political endeavours, there is great cause for you, members of your family, your many associates, protégés and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for His benevolence upon you.

“As you deservedly celebrate this landmark, it is my prayer that Almighty God continues to bless you with robust health and many more years of happiness,” President Jonathan wrote to Chief Nwobodo.

He wished him very happy birthday celebrations.

Jonathan Meets With Former Heads Of State Over Chibok

Jonathan and ex leadersFormer Heads of State have committed themselves to doing everything they can to support President Goodluck Jonathan and the Borno State Government to find a solution to the issue of the missing Chibok girls.

In a meeting with the President on Thursday, they also offered help in finding an end to the general challenge of insurgency in the country.

Details of the meeting were made known to State House Correspondents by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.

The former Heads of State present were Ernest Shonekan, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, General Mohammadu Buhari, General Yakubu Gowon and Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Also present was the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.

General Ibrahim Babangida was absent following the death of the Senator representing his constituency, Senator Kuta, who passed away on Thursday. He sent his apologies.

The meeting which lasted for about an hour was over dinner.