By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect for the former Head of State, Ernest Shonekan, who died on Tuesday, January 11.
The order takes effect from the 12th to 14th of January, 2022, according to a statement signed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
The one-paragraph statement by the SGF read: “Following the death of the former Head of the Interim Government, late Chief Ernest Adegunle Oladeinde Shonekan, President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast, effective from Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th, January 2022 as a mark of respect for the former Head of State who died on Tuesday 11th January 2022 at the age of 85.”
Shonekan was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26 and November 17, 1993 when he was ousted in a coup led by late General Sani Abacha.
Until his death, Shonekan was the third oldest surviving Nigerian Head of State after Queen Elizabeth II and General Yakubu Gowon.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sadness over the news of the death of a great statesman.
The President, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Tuesday in Abuja, extended deepest condolences to Shonekan’s wife, Margaret, loved ones, as well as the Government and people of Ogun.
Buhari affirmed that, as an internationally-respected statesman with courageous wisdom, Shonekan left his ”flourishing business career to become the Head of Government, at a delicate time when the country needed someone of his calm mien and pedigree to save the ship of state from sinking.”
The President noted that Shonekan demonstrated to all that the love for country and commitment to her development, peace and unity transcended the trappings of office and the transient nature of political power.