A former governor of Ogun state, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has mourned the demise of former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan as he recounted several close encounters with him.
Osoba described late Shonekan as a giant in the private sector who left a mark on Nigerian economy.
According to the former governor, Shonekan during his short stint as the head of the Interim Government contributed greatly to the economic development of the country.
Shonekan who headed the interim Government that succeeded the military regime led by General Ibrahim Babangida died in Lagos state in the early hours of Tuesday.
Reacting, Osoba described the death of his ‘friend’ as a great loss to the country, adding that Nigeria has lost a committed and patriotic leader.
He said this during an interview session with Arise TV on Wednesday, monitored by The New Diplomat.
In his words: “His (Shonekan)’s contribution was more in the economic sector, even after leaving office, after he was kicked out, he still believed in the economic development of Nigeria. And the group of people that he was able to muster together in the private sector, to help the economy of the country.
“Because he did his best to revamp the economy of the country by getting all the public sector, self funded and not by the government and to see how we can rescue the economy of the country. As you said, this was unfortunate that Chief MKO Abiola paid the price of his own innocence, of his own determination to make the Nigeria better.
“We were brought to the Council of State because as governor, we are members of the council of state. I know his interest was in the economy of the country. And he used experience in the private sector at all times. His advice, most times were probably not taken seriously. But he did his best in terms of the economic development of this country. In my relationship with him, like MKO Abiola, they both don’t take prejudices. We remain very close.
“Even after all the political tension when I became governor, in 1999, he was one of the first, with his wife to visit me at my private house.”