Beginning from today for three days, flags will fly at half-mast in honour of former Head of Interim National Government (ING) Chief Ernest Shonekan. He died yesterday in Lagos, aged 85.

In Shonekan’s honour, the Federal Government ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast from today till Friday.

A statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said: “Following the death of…Chief Shonekan, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the national flag be flown at half-mast…as a mark of respect for the former Head of State…”

President Muhammad Buhari has expressed sadness over Shonekan’s death, saying the former head of state displayed a real sense of patriotism.

Commiserating with the widow Margaret, the Shonekan Family, the people and the government of Ogun State, President Buhari said Shonekan’s memory would continue to remain with Nigerians.

In a statement by his spokesman Mr. Femi Adesina, the President recalled the sacrifices Shonekan made for the country, including leaving his personal career to serve in government.

“As an internationally-respected statesman, President Buhari affirms that, with courageous wisdom, Chief 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 notes that Chief Shonekan demonstrated to all that the love for country and commitment to her development, peace and unity transcend the trappings of office and the transient nature of political power.

“President Buhari believes that Nigeria owes a great debt to Chief Shonekan, the peacemaker, who even at the twilight of his life never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country.

“The President prays that the memory of the departed Head of Government will remain a blessing to Nigeria even as he finds perfect peace with Almighty God,” the statement stated.

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