..Say He Saved Ship of State from Sinking …He Was Architect of Our Free Market Economy…Babangida …Well Loved for His Sincerity, Sense of Purpose…Jonathan …Shonekan Was Not Nigerian Leader, His ING Was Annulled…Sowore President Muhammadu Buhari and other past leaders have poured eulogies on former Head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan. Buhari
..Say He Saved Ship of State from Sinking
…He Was Architect of Our Free Market Economy…Babangida
…Well Loved for His Sincerity, Sense of Purpose…Jonathan
…Shonekan Was Not Nigerian Leader, His ING Was Annulled…Sowore
President Muhammadu Buhari and other past leaders have poured eulogies on former Head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan. Buhari says Nigeria owes a great debt to the late elder statesman for saving the ship of state from sinking at a critical period of the country’s history.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said he received the news with profound sadness.
Buhari also extended his condolences to Shonekan’s wife, Margaret, loved ones, as well as the government and people of Ogun State
The statement read in part, “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.”
Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida also mourned the death of Shonekan, with a moving tribute on Tuesday in which he described the deceased as a “a man of ideas and ideals” who displayed a profound and remarkable understanding of the country.
Chief Shonekan, who led the country on an interim basis following the uncertainty and turmoil that trailed the annulled June 12, 1993 election, died at a hospital in Lagos at the age of 85 in the early hours of Tuesday.
Mourning his demise through a public statement, General Babangida, the military leader whose regime handed power to Shonekan, said his “managerial skills, brilliance, and meticulous interrogation of situations” helped the country to navigate its way through the political impasse and forge ahead.
Babangida said he owed the late Shonekan personal gratitude for his friendship and contributions to the development of the nation.
His tribute read: “Chief Ernest Shonekan was one of our cerebral minds during our time in government. He was the architect of our principle of free market economy which helped to open up the system for a 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 brain child.
“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 a personal gratitude to him throughout his sojourn on earth as we maintained very robust mutual relationship after his exit from the corridors of power.”
IBB praised Shonekan for his role in helping his administration record legacy achievements in the areas of infrastructure, economy, and social rebirth. He prayed to God to grant his soul a peaceful rest, while also extending condolences to his family and other Nigerians who had a relationship with him.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in his tribute on Shonekan, said the deceased would be remembered for his great wisdom, peaceful disposition, the goodwill he extended to all as well as his significant contributions to the growth the economy of the nation.
In a condolence message to his family and the government of Ogun State, Jonathan described him as “an elder statesman, well-loved for his sincerity and sense of purpose.”
The former president, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Mr Ikechuwu Eze, further 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.”
Shonekan was Head of the ING, which succeeded the military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida and ruled from August 26 to November 17, 1993.
Shonekan was born in Lagos to a civil servant who hails from Abeokuta, into a family of six on the 9th of May 1936. He attended the CMS Grammar School and then proceeded to Igbobi College.
He received a law degree from the University of London and later attended the Harvard Business School.
He worked at the United African Company of Nigeria in at the time when it was a subsidiary of the United Africa Company which played a prominent role in British colonization.
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.
Shonekan will mostly be remembered for his role in the crisis of the third republic.
Following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections by Babangida, the then head of state and president, he signed a decree establishing an ING to be led by Shonekan before resigning from office in August 1993.
He was simultaneously sworn-in as head of state and as head of the transitional council and head of government and was charged with the responsibility of handing over power to a democratically elected leader.
However, he was removed through a military coup led by Gen. Sani Abacha three months after assuming office before he could hand over to a democratically elected government.
Although Babangida made the interim government weak by placing it under the control of the military, Shonekan would be remembered for releasing political prisoners detained by the Babangida regime.
His administration also introduced a bill to repeal three major draconian decrees of the military government.
The government also initiated an audit of the accounts of NNPC, an organization that had much operational inefficiency.
A human-rights activist and a RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore has however taken to social media to register his displeasure over the live of late Ernest Shonekan before his death.
Sowore, also publisher, Sahara Reporters, queried referring to Shonekan as a former Nigerian ruler on his facebook page which attracted the attentions of many Nigerians.
“When I learned of the death of Chief Ernest Shonekan today at the age of 85. I could not hold my anger at the reporting (including at Sahara Reporters) that claimed he was a “Nigerian leader.”
“Truth is that Chief Shonekan wasn’t a leader, he was a traitor who betrayed Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola and a betrayer of Nigeria’s quest for genuine democracy before and during the June 12 1993 era.
“Also, Chief Shonekan wasn’t an “Interim Leader” as reported in many news outlets, the illegal contraption he headed known as the “Interim National Government” which was put together by an equally evil traitor, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was appropriately nullified by a Lagos High Court also in 1993 after he occupied the office of “President” only for 84 days.
“Nigerians should courageously address the sins of these bunch of wicked people when they are alive and when they die. The people of Chile recently treated the death of Lucía Hiriart, the widow of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet with scorn even though she died at the age of 99, he said