President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday paid a condolence visit to the family of Chief Ernest Shonekan, the late Head of the defunct Interim National Government (ING) of Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President was earlier in Abeokuta in Ogun for the inauguration of some projects by Gov. Dapo Abiodun.
The President, who arrived the Ikoyi residence of Shonekan at 4:40pm with high profile dignataries and heavy security, left at 4:58 pm after spending about 18 minutes with the family of the deceased.
The President did not however spoke with newsmen as his covey all in tainted glass vehicles drove out of the premises under heavy security watch.
Buhari was in the company of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, his Ogun counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) among other dignataries.
A NAN correspondent monitoring condolence visits at the residence observed heavy presence of security operatives – police, military and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps – who had taken positions in and around the premises.
Patrol vans of police and military police as well as Armoured Personnel Carriers were stationed around the residence at Ikoyi in Lagos.
Human and vehicular movements had been restricted in the area, while sympathisers were being politely turned back.
One of the security operatives told NAN that there was no clearance for journalists to come to the residence.
It would be recalled that newsmen had not been allowed into the premises of the late head of ING since his death on Tuesday.
Most of the personalities who came to condole with the deceased family but denied entry did not stop to respond to questions from newsmen that were around their to monitor developments.
Meanwhile, the Bobagunwa of Lagos, Chief Akin Disu, who paid the deceased family a condolence visit but denied entry, told NAN that the late head of state served the country very well.
Disu, a childhood and school friend of Shonekan, said : “Nigeria begged him to come and serve the country and he did that very well.
“Nigerians leaders should emulate from Shonekan a life dedicated to public service. He served the country properly and he kept the unity of the nation at the time of heavy distressed.”
Shonekan died in Lagos on Tuesday at the age of 85.
He succeeded Gen. Ibrahim Babangida to become the Head of the Interim National Government (ING) from Aug. 26, 1993 to Nov. 17, 1993.
The ING was constituted in August 1993 by General Babangida in the aftermath of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Shonekan was, however, overthrown in a palace coup led by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, who was the Defence Secretary in the Shonekan-led ING.
Prior to his brief political career, Shonekan was the chairman and the chief executive of the United African Company (UAC) of Nigeria.