Governors across the country yesterday condoled with their Ogun State counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on the death former Head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Adegunle Shonekan, an indigene of the state.
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun expressed sadness over the death of the former industrialist.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, the governor described the death of the Egba-born British-trained lawyer, industrialist and traditional chief as a colossal loss to Nigeria and the state.
“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 peaceful resolution and patriotic fervour will live after him.
“Chief Shonekan, an Egba traditional chief (Babasale of Egba), was a true Nigerian who spent most of his life for the betterment of the country,” the statement said.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike expressed shock at the demise of the former Head of the ING.
In a condolence message by his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, the governor said the late Shonekan was a dedicated Nigerian who was committed to the peace and stability of the country.
Wike noted that Shonekan’s strong credentials as an astute administrator enabled him to steadfastly steer the country through one of its most turbulent times.
He said: “On behalf of the government and good people of Rivers State, I offer our deepest condolences to the family, relatives of the former Chairman, Interim National Government and the people of Nigeria.”
In a statement in Osogbo by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, the governor extended his heartfelt condolences to the wife of the deceased, Mrs. Margaret Shonekan, the Shonekan family, government and people of Ogun State.
He said: “The Abeokuta-born elder statesman and industrialist was an exceptional leader who, in and out of office, demonstrated a strong commitment to the peace, unity and development of Nigeria…
“On behalf of my family, government and people of Osun, I commiserate with the wife of Chief Ernest Shonekan, his family, government and people of Ogun State. I pray God to grant the soul of Chief Shonekan eternal rest and give his beloved wife, family and the people of Ogun State the fortitude to bear his loss.”
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma mourned the former Head of ING.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser, Oguwike Nwachuku, the governor said Shonekan’s death was painful because in it Nigeria has lost a patriot.
The governor said the late Shonekan was one of the Nigerian statesmen and legal luminaries who believed in the unity, progress and development of the country and worked hard in private and public sectors for the realisation of that dream.
In his condolence message, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki said: “I am saddened by the passing of Chief Shonekan, an unassuming leader and a cerebral lawyer, who helped to steady our nation during the turbulent years of Nigeria’s third republic.
“Committed to the good of our dear country, he played his part, making sacrifices to set Nigeria on the path of progress, even with the dark clouds that hovered over our affairs in the 1990s.
“As the founder of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, his commitment to private and free enterprise remains indelible in the annals of our history. “It is heartbreaking that Chief Shonekan will not be available to offer his priceless advice and guidance, as we approach another election season.”
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello said: “The former Interim Head of State contributed immensely to the unity, progress and political developments of the country.
“Shonekan will be remembered for his intervention in the release of political prisoners detained by the military government within his three months in office.
“He worked to ensure the unity of the country more along ethnic and political lines.
“Shonekan as a strong leader always spoke truth to power and was passionate about national interest.”
In a condolence message by his media aide, Nath Ikyur, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom said: “Shonekan was a vibrant and courageous leader who left his positive footprints in the sands of time.”
“Though his stint in office was short, he made great impacts. Nigerians felt his contributions within that time giving his experience as a technocrat in the organised private sector. He prioritized the welfare and security of all citizens without prejudice.”
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