By Babajide Okeowo
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and his counterpart from Kogi State, Yahaya Bello have mourned former Head, Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, describing his death as a colossal loss to the nation.
According to a statement by Governor Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, he noted that the Egba born British-trained lawyer, industrialist and traditional chief, passed on at a period Nigeria needed his experience most as a technocrat.
“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 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.
Recall that Shonekan, the head of the Interim National Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Lagos.