By Lizzy Okoji
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has expressed shock over the death of a former Nigerian President, Chief Ernest Shonekan, saying that Nigeria has lost a true nationalist and political colossus.
Bello expressed his condolences in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, on Tuesday in Lokoja.
Describing Shonekan as a true statesman and one of the leading forces in the restoration of peace and unity in the country, Bello said that Shonekan would be missed greatly by Nigerians.
“The former interim head of state contributed immensely to the unity, progress and political developments of the country.
“Shonekan will be remembered for his intervention in the release of political prisoners detained by the military government within his three months in office.
“He worked to ensure the unity of the country more along ethnic and political lines.
“Shonekan as a strong leader always spoke truth to power and was passionate about national interest.”
Bello condoled with the family and relations of the late elder statesman, the people of Egbaland and the government and people of Ogun State.
The governor prayed God to grant eternal rest to the departed elder statesman.
Shonekan, a lawyer and businessman served as Interim Head of State of Nigeria between Aug. 26 and Nov.17, 1993.
He died on Tuesday in Laos. He was 85 years.