By Babajide Okeowo
President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the demise of Ernest Shonekan, Head of the Interim National Government, saying Nigeria owes a great debt to him.
President Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he received the news with profound sadness.
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.”
Recall that 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.