Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has rained encomiums on the late Ernest Shonekan, describing him as a man of high value that will be greatly missed for his contributions to national development.
Osinbajo made the comments at Shonekan’s funeral which held at the Cathedral Church Of Christ, Marina on Friday.
“Ernest Shonekan lived an extraordinary life. But perhaps what deserves greater attention is the way he carried himself through life and the high values he exemplified,” the Vice President said.
“That genuine respect that he had for all people of all classes, religions and tribes, his unflinching belief in the inherent goodness in everyone, his love and generousity not just for his family but to all.
“His knowledge and experience-driven leadership and counsel that he provided always with unfailing humility and courteousness; these were the unique virtues that underpinned his extraordinary achievements.”
Others in attendance were the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, Former Head Of State Yakubu Gowon, the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, as well as the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
Former Governor of Ogun State Ibikunle Amosun is also in attendance.
The Lagos State government had announced a 13-hour closure of roads leading to Marina where the funeral is taking place.
Chief Shonekan who served as the head of Interim national government between August and November 1993 died on the 11th of January 2022 at the age of 86.
A cross-section of dignitaries during the funeral service of Ernest Shonekan at the Cathedral Church Of Christ, Marina in Lagos on Friday.
He was born on May 9, 1936, in Lagos into the family of an Abeokuta-born civil servant. He attended the CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College.
He later received a law degree from the University of London and was called to the bar, after which he attended Harvard Business School.
Shonekan joined the UAC in 1964. He rose through the ranks in the company and was promoted to an assistant legal adviser. He later became a deputy adviser and joined the board of directors at the age of 40.
He was made chairman and Managing Director in 1980 and went on to cultivate a wide array of international business and political connections.
On January 2, 1993, Shonekan assumed office as head of the transitional council and Head of Government under General Babangida.
In 1994, he founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy.
Since then, Shonekan went on to feature prominently as an elder statesman.
At the time of his death, he was the third oldest surviving Nigerian Head of State after Queen Elizabeth II and General Yakubu Gowon.