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Lagos, NG
21st May 2022
LOCAL NEWS

Shonekan: Flags Fly At Half-Mast For Ex-Head Of State

Shonekan: Flags Fly At Half-Mast For Ex-Head Of State
Shonekan: Flags Fly At Half-Mast For Ex-Head Of State

Beginning from today for three days, flags will fly at half-mast in honour of former Head of Interim National Government (ING) Chief Ernest Shonekan. He died yesterday in Lagos, aged 85.

President Muhammadu Buhari, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and former Head of State Gen. Abdul Salami Abubakar, in separate statements, mourned the passing of the former boardroom giant.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila extoled the virtues of the late Shonekan.

All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also paid tributes.

The Shonekan Family, in a statement by Adeboye Shonekan, said its patriarch died of “natural causes”.

It reads: “To the glory of the Almighty, the Shonekan family announces the passing of our patriarch, loving husband to Margaret, dutiful father to us all and former Head of State, Chief Ernest, Adegunle, Oladeinde Shonekan, GCFR, CBE, the Baba Sale of Egbaland.

“He passed this morning (yesterday of natural causes at the age of 85. The family will release further details in due course.”
In Shonekan’s honour, the Federal Government ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast from today till Friday.

A statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said: “Following the death of…Chief Shonekan, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast…as a mark of respect for the former Head of State…”

President Buhari expressed sadness over Shonekan’s death, saying the former head of state displayed a real sense of patriotism.

Commiserating with the widow Margaret, the Shonekan Family, the people and the government of Ogun State, President Buhari said Shonekan’s memory would continue to remain with Nigerians.

In a statement by his spokesman Mr. Femi Adesina, the President recalled the sacrifices Shonekan made for the country, including leaving his personal career to serve in government.

“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 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,” the statement stated.

Chief Obasanjo said Shonekan was a unifying force for the nation and that his contribution to the growth and development of democracy cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

In a condolence letter to the widow, a copy of which was made available to reporters in Abeokuta by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former President said the late boardroom guru was “a role model and an epitome of the good in the nation’s business firmament of mixed blessings”.

Obasanjo added: “He would be remembered as a man of sustained strong will to succeed.

“Coming from a 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.”

Obasanjo described the octogenarian as one of the illustrious sons of Africa, a community leader, a distinguished business baron and an exemplary leader in the private sector who “rendered outstanding service to our country, and we will never forget that”.

Babangida said Shonekan’s death was a personal loss to him.

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