Ernest Shonekan, former head of interim government is dead

Shonekan died in Lagos on Tuesday. He was 85.

Born on May 9, 1936, Shonekan was a British-trained lawyer and industrialist.

The late leader was head of the interim government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, after Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, former head of state, stepped down from office.

Shonekan was a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC) before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1993.

Babangida refused to hand over power to MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled 1993 presidential election, but the military ruler ”stepped aside”.

Shonekan who took charge of the government was in office for only three months. The late Sani Abacha, the former military ruler, ousted him through a coup.

The statesman hailed from Abeokuta, Ogun state.

He attended C.M.S grammar school and Igbobi College, Lagos, and obtained a law degree from the University of London.

He was titled Abese of Egbaland in 1981 (in addition to a variety of other chieftaincy titles).

He had his secondary education at CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College.

He received a law degree from the University of London and was called to the bar. He later attended Harvard Business School.

He was a lawyer and statesman who served as the interim Head of States from 26 August 1993 to 17 November 1993.

Shonekan was chairman of the INC, which succeeded the military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Before his political career, Shonekan was the chairman and chief executive of the United African Company of Nigeria (successor of Royal Niger Company), a vast Nigerian conglomerate, which at the time was the largest African-controlled company in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In November 1993, three months into his administration, Shonekan was overthrown in a palace coup by Abacha.

In 1994, he founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy.

He was the third oldest surviving Head of States by age after Queen Elizabeth II and Gen Yakubu Gowon (Rtd).



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