Former Nigerian military leader, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has paid glowing tribute to late Chief Ernest Shonekan who died on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, saying the deceased chose to tread where many would not dare.
He described Shonekan’s death as “a great personal loss to me, my wife Victoria, and our family.”
The deceased succeeded military President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida as Head of Interim National Government (ING) in the wake of the crisis generated by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief MKO Abiola, Shonekan’s kinsman from Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In a letter to the Shonekan family titled, “We mourn our dear friend, His Excellency, Chief Ernest Adegunle Shonekan,” Gowon among other things said: “The passing of our friend, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Nigeria’s 9th Head of State, on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, is a great personal loss to me, my wife Victoria, and our family.
“Chief Shonekan was a patriot, albeit a deeply misunderstood one. At the height of the political crisis in Nigeria in 1993, he was called upon to serve his country. In accepting to head the Interim National Government (ING), he knew he had chosen to tread where many would not dare. He gave his best to the office for the good of his Fatherland. Though he paid a heavy personal price for his selfless decision, I hope that history will be kind to him.”