President Muhammadu Buhari, Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun and his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have eulogised former Head of the Interim National Government (ING) and elder statesman, late Ernest Shonekan, for being an astute administrator who held the country together while at the helm.
In their separate remarks at the Christian Wake and Night of Tributes for the late Shonekan held at the Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday, they hailed the late Egba High Chief for being a patriot Nigerian while alive.
President Buhari attributed Nigeria’s stability to the role played by the late Shonekan who offered to serve at the most trying time in the history of the nation.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Buhari recalled that Chief Shonekan upon taking up the mantle of leadership as Head of Interim National Government after the annulment of the June 12 election, released political detainees and established the Nigeria Economic Summit to chart the path of economic growth for the country.
The President noted that though old and weak, late Shonekan attended most of the economic summit and meetings on wheelchair even to his last days, saying “that was an indication that he loved and wanted the best for the country”.
Buttressing the president’s position, Governor Dapo in his tributes, described the late nationalist as a proud son of Ogun State who through his achievements both as a board room guru and a statesman brought honour to the state.
Chief Shonekan, according to the governor, played a stabilizing role in the nation’s polity, saying he was an embodiment of humility and integrity whose wise counsel would be missed.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on his part said the late ING Head was a role model who became the Managing Director of United Africa Company (UAC) at the age of 40 years, a feat which was unprecedented.
According to him, Shonekan was a courageous man who did his best to stabilise the nation, noting that “he was a wise, calm and mature statesman and a tireless patriot who served his country until the end.
Also speaking, a friend of the late statesman, Chief Olusegun Oshunkeye, said his friend was a consummate board room guru who lived a life of service to God and humanity.
On his part, Chief Philip Asiodu, described the deceased as a tested, astute administrator who was approachable during his life time.