Shonekan, A Man Of Destiny, Says Osinbajo
By Our Reporter
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday joined other Nigerians to pay glowing tribute to the former Head of the Interim National Government of Nigeria, late Chief Ernest Shonekan, at the funeral service held at the Cathedral Church Of Christ, Marina in Lagos.
Speaking at the event presided over by the Primate and Metropolitan of the Anglican Communion (Church of Nigeria), Most Revd (Dr.) Henry Ndukuba and attended by former Head of State Yakubu Gowan, former President Goodluck Jonathan, many state governors, top federal government officials, lawmakers, hundreds of Anglican Bishops and priests, religious leaders, politicians, captains of industry, entrepreneurs, as well as family, friends and associates of the deceased, Prof Osinbajo described late Shonekan as a man of destiny who lived an extraordinary life.
He said the former Head of the Interim National Government had respect for all, adding that there was a way he carried himself through life.
The Vice President also praised Shonekan’s contributions to Nigeria, “first as a business guru and later as Head of the Federal Government, adding that the deceased believed that “national development was achievable if there was a deep collaboration between the public and the private sector.”
As he puts it: “Chief Shonekan lived an extraordinary life.
“He is a man of destiny just like Nigeria is a nation of destiny. He believes that national development is achievable if there is a deep collaboration between the public and private sector.”
In his speech, the Most. Revd Akinola, said the late Shonekan did what God had destined him to do by serving as the Head of the Interim National Government during the turbulent time in Nigeria’s political history.
The clergy said Shonekan had done that which God enabled him to do for himself, his family, the church and Nigeria.
The Bishop said many people advised Shonekan not to take up the job of heading the Interim Government because of the risk of a coup, but Shonekan considered Nigeria to be more important.
The Bishop also recalled that even the church refused to give the late Shonekan the benefit of the doubt even as ‘some political opportunists demonised him and called him unprintable names.’
He put his life on the line for the sake of this country. Perhaps, we would like to know that Chief Shonekan was not completely unaware that the coup would take place.
“Shonekan not being a typical ambitious Nigerian politician, he refused to do many things to preserve himself in office. A typical Nigerian politician will do everything possible to continue in office, come rain come fire.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also paid glowing tributes to the late former Head of Interim National Government, saying generations of Nigerians will remain appreciative of Shonekan’s courage, sacrifice and stabilising influence on the polity.
He said Chief Shonekan in his calm and unflappable manner, steered the course of the country, during his tenure as Head of the Interim National Government until the military intervention that followed, noting that it was a courageous thing for him to do, at such a turbulent time in Nigeria’s history.