Ernest Shonekan

Shonekan in his middle age
Ernest Shonekan. Photo: BBC

Ernest Shonekan; Industrialist who headed Interim National Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria, from August to November, 1993. Shonekan was a Chairman/Managing Director, UAC of Nigeria Limited, 1980-93. He led the Vision 2010 committee under the regime of General Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s military ruler[i]. Born May 9, 1936 in Lagos but an Indigene of Abeokuta[ii], Shonekan attended C.M.S. Grammar School, Lagos, 1956; and University of London, 1962; before proceeding to the Inns of Court, Council of Legal Education, 1962.

Following the dismissal of his interim government contraption on November 17, 1993, Shonekan embarked on diplomatic shuttles on behalf of the junta that toppled him. He held talks with John Major on behalf of General Abacha who was desperate to forge closer ties with the British government that championed the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth at the wake of the furore generated by the hanging of environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa[iii]. He was awarded the GCFR in 2004.

[i] Tell May 22, 2000

[ii] Insider May 12, 2008

[iii] Tell May 20, 1996

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer