Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, as a unifying force for the nation.
He declared that his contribution to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
Obasanjo, in a condolence letter to Mrs Margaret Shonekan, said the business mogul was “a role model and an epitome of the good in the nation’s business firmament of mixed blessings.
A copy of the letter was made available to reporters in Abeokuta on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.
According to the elder statesman, Shonekan will be remembered as a man of sustained strong will to succeed.
He stated that as the Interim National Government in Nigeria in1993, Shonekan rendered outstanding service to the country, and the people would never forget that.
Obasanjo also commended the former Nigerian leader for the various national assignments executed years after he left office, including his roles as Special Envoy on the Implementation of the Abuja Agreement on Zimbabwe in 2001, and Chairman of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in 2008, saying he was forthright, dedicated and showed great patriotism in the discharge of his duties.
He added that Shonekan was a unifying force for the nation, saying in all situations, he lived nobly and he died in nobility.
Read the former President’s letter to Shonekan’s widow below:
January 11, 2022
Chief (Mrs.) Margaret O. Shonekan,
Lugard House, One Lugard Avenue,
Falomo Ikoyi, Lagos.
LETTER OF CONDOLENCE
I have just received, while currently on international assignment as the High Representative of the African Union for the Horn of Africa, with great shock, the news of the death of your beloved husband and one of the illustrious sons of Africa, a community leader, a distinguished business baron and an exemplary leader in the private sector and, of course, the former Chairman of UAC Nigeria Limited, Chief Ernest Shonekan, with an admixture of joy for a life well spent and sadness for the loss of a beloved man after God’s heart and a noble Chief of Egbaland and former Nigerian Head of State.
Chief Shonekan was a role model and an epitome of the good in the nation’s business firmament of mixed blessings. He would be remembered as a man of sustained strong will to succeed.
Coming from humble background, rising, stepping, and peaking at the topmost plum in corporate management, and the very top of the giant United Africa Company (UAC) ladder, attest to his sagacity, tenacity, and steadfastness.
He founded, in 1994, the Economic Summit Group, an advocacy group and think tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy, and it remains, till today, sustaining the legacy of helping to support stakeholders in the execution of policies, programmes, and strategies in response to any emerging trends in national and global economies.
Yet at the hour of great achievement and undisguised success, Chief Shonekan did not lose the common touch and sense of service to family and his wider community.
On the political scene, Chief Shonekan, as the Head of the Interim National Government in Nigeria in1993, though short-lived for the period of three months through the palace coup orchestrated by General Sani Abacha, rendered outstanding service to our country, and we will never forget that.
It is also worthy of note that as Special Envoy on the Implementation of the Abuja Agreement on Zimbabwe in 2001 under my administration as the President of Nigeria; and Chairman, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), under Yar’Adua’s administration in 2008, he was forthright, dedicated and showed great patriotism in the discharge of his duties.
He was a unifying force for the nation and his contribution to the growth and development of democracy in Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
In all situations, he lived nobly, and he died in nobility. He was an achiever. Indeed, Chief Shonekan died at a time the country is in dire need of his leadership, wealth of experience, and wisdom to tackle the multifaceted challenges facing the nation.
While expressing, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, our sympathies to you and the entire members of your family as well as to the government and the good people of Ogun State, it is our prayer that the Almighty God will grant him eternal rest and comfort all those he left behind.