Ernest Shonekan

By Henry Umoru – Abuja

The Senate has asked the Federal Government to Immortalize the former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan who died on Tuesday last week.

The Senate yesterday had a minute silence in honour of the late Shonekan, just as it has resolved to send a delegation to condole with the Shonekan family, the Government, and people of Ogun state.

Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion titled, “Passage of Chief Ernest Shonekan, GCFR, (May, 9th 1936 – Tuesday, 11th January 2022)” and sponsored by the Senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North.

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Presenting the motion, the Senate leader said that “The Senate notes with grief the passage of Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan, GCFR, Former Head of the Interim National Government of Nigeria, on Tuesday, 11th January, 2022 at the age of 85 years;

“Further Notes that Chief Ernest Shonekan, an indigene of Ogun State, was a British trained Lawyer, a consummate administrator, a renowned industrialist, a seasoned businessman and politician, who served as the Head of the Interim National Government of Nigeria from August, 26th, 1993 to November, 17th 1993;

“Aware that Chief Ernest Shonekan was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on 9th May, 1936. His father was an Abeokutaborn civil servant and he was one of the six childien born into the family;

“Further aware that Chief Shonekan attended C.M.S Grammar School and Igbobi College, both in Lagos State. He also attended the University of London, where he bagged a Law Degree, after which he was called to Bar;

“Observes that after being called to Bar, Chief Ernest Shonekan worked at the United African Company of Nigeria (UAC) and rose through the ranks to become the Chairman and Managing Director of the company;

“Recalls that on August 26, 1993, Chief Shonekan was appointed as the Head of Interim National Government of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida following his stepping aside from office occasioned by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election;

“Further Recalls that three months into his Administration, Chief Shonekan was overthrown in a Palace coup by General Sani Abacha on November 17th 1993;

“Aware that though Chief Shonekan served briefly, his contributions to national development, unity, cohesion and stability are worthy of note in the annals of our nation.”

Senator Abdullahi further said that the “Senate notes that in 1994, he founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group – an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy;

“Further Notes that Chief Shonekan thereafter featured prominently as a cherished Leader and a respected Elder Statesman who epitomized service to humanity and the nation;

“Convinced that Chief Ernest Shonekan was a selfless Nigerian who dedicated his life to the growth and stability of Nigeria as evidenced in his public and private life; and

“Observes that Chief Shonekan was until his passage, married to Chief Mrs. Margaret Shonekan, and they had four children.”

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