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President Muhammadu Buhari has said he received the news of the death of Ernest Shonekan, former Head of the Interim National Government with profound sadness, describing him as a peacemaker who salvaged Nigeria from sinking.
Shonekan, was the head of the Interim National Government that succeeded General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration between August 26 and November 17, 1993, but was ousted in a coup, led by the Late General Sani Abacha.
He died at the age of 85 in Lagos on Tuesday.
Buhari, in his message of condolence on behalf of the Federal Government, extended his deepest condolences to Shonekan’s wife, Margaret, loved ones, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.
According to the president, Shonekan was an internationally-respected statesman with courageous wisdom.
“He 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.
“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,” he noted in a statement conveyed through his media aide, Femi Adesina.
Buhari said he believes that Nigeria owes a great debt to Shonekan, the peacemaker, who even at the twilight of his life time never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country.
He also prayed that the memory of the departed Head of Government will remain a blessing to Nigeria even as he finds perfect peace with Almighty God.