Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, and former President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday in Lagos attended a State Funeral Service for Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Shonekan, who served as the Head of Interim National Government from August 26, 1993 to November 17, 1993, died in Lagos on January 11 at the age of 85.
Gowon was accompanied by his wife, Victoria, to the service held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Godwin Obaseki of Edo states were at the service.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and some other members of the Federal Executive Council, members of the National Assembly, service chiefs, and traditional rulers, among others also attended the service.
Delivering a message titled, “A Life of Two Great Halves Lived in Service: A tribute to Chief Ernest Adegunle Shonekan,” the vice-president said the deceased creditably acquitted himself in various spheres of life.
“If ever a man could be said to have lived a life of two equally consequential halves and in service, that man would be Shonekan. And so it transpired that within the first four and a half decades of his life, Chief Shonekan had established himself as one of the nation’s foremost corporate technocrats and a figure of renown in the boardrooms of many private companies, multinational and indigenous in which he served as chairman and director,” he said.
He said Shonekan lived his life always conscious of and motivated by a burden of duty, as a citizen of considerable privilege, to give back, either in his many philanthropic and civic pursuits or in public service.
“It is a testament to that sense of duty that even while out of office; Chief Shonekan remained deeply vested in the fate of his country.
Earlier, in his sermon, a former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Peter Akinola, said when a true believer died, he would rise to eternal life.
He urged those left behind by Shonekan not to grieve endlessly like those who were hopeless; who had no Christ.
“You have Christ; therefore, you have hope; you rejoice and give thanks to God instead and give thanks to God. He is in the bosom of Abraham because of the life that he lived; because of his faith in Jesus Christ,” he said.
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