President Muhammadu Buhari and former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki have expressed their heartfelt condolence over the passage of former Head of the Interim National Government (ING) of Nigeria, Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Buhari, in a condolence message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, described the demise of Shonekan as a great loss to the country.
Earlier, the New Diplomat had reported that Shonekan who headed the interim Government that succeeded the military regime led by General Ibrahim Babangida passed away at Evercare hospital, in the Lekki area of Lagos state in the early hours of Tuesday.
Reacting, the President labelled Shonekan as patriotic citizen who left his ‘flourishing business’ to become the Head of Government, in other to save the ship of Nigeria from sinking.
Buhari also expressed his commiseration to the widow of the former Head of States, Mrs. Margaret Shonekan, the Shonekan family, the people and Government of Ogun State and Nigeria at large, saying his memory would continue to remain with Nigerians.
The statement reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari has received with profound sadness the news of the death of a great statesman and former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.
“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 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 life time 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.”
Also, Former Senate President in his heartfelt condolence described Shonekan as a prominent politician who always demonstrated strong commitment to the unity, peace, and prosperity of Nigeria.
Saraki who took to his official twitter page prayed to God to grant the family of the deceased and Nigeria at large the fortitude to bear the loss.
He tweeted, “In both his public and private capacities, our 9th Head of State, Chief Ernest Shonekan, played a remarkable role in the development of Nigeria. Through his actions, he always demonstrated a strong commitment to the unity, peace, and prosperity of our great country.
“Today, as we join his family, well-wishers, and all Nigerians to mourn the passing of this great statesman, it is my prayer that Almighty God gives the entire nation and his loved ones the courage, strength, and fortitude to bear this monumental loss.”