Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has written the widow of former Head of the Interim National Government in Nigeria, Chief Ernest Sonekan, who died on Tuesday, adding that he(Obasanjo) received the death news with shock, while far away on international assignment as the High Representative of the African Union for the Horn of Africa.
Penpushing reports that, Obasanjo in the letter addressed to Chief (Mrs) Margaret Shonekan, dated January 11, 2022, described the deceased as a role model and an epitome of the good in the nation’s business firmament of mixed blessings, who would be remembered as a man of sustained strongwill to succeed.
‘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’, he stated.
‘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’, Obasanjo wrote.
‘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 strongwill to succeed’, the letter reads.
‘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’, Obasanjo wrote the widow.
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