Heavy Security Presence In Lagos As Former Interim Head Of State, Ernest Shonekan Is Laid To Rest

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There was heavy security presence on Friday at the Cathedral Church Of Christ, Marina in Lagos, where the funeral service of former Nigerian leader, Chief Ernest Shonekan is being held.

Men of the Nigeria Police Force were seen in their numbers cordoning off the area.

As part of activities to mark the state funeral service of Shonekan, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army was also set to give 21-artillery gun salute in his honour.

In a statement on Thursday, acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi said the special honour would take place at the Ebony Vault and Garden, Ikoyi, Lagos.

It explained: “The 21 Artillery Gun Salute is scheduled for Friday, February 4, 2022. As part of activities lined up for the State Funeral there would be a 21-Artillery Gun Salute to honour the late Elder Statesman.”

Shonekan passed on at the age of 85 at Evercare Hospital, in the Lekki, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, where he had been receiving treatment.

The deceased legal practitioner was the Abese of Egbaland before he was pronounced dead by medical experts in January.

He was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26 and November 17, 1993, when he was ousted in a coup led by the late General Sani Abacha.

After he was overthrown through a palace coup, he founded the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, an advocacy group and think-tank for private sector-led development of the Nigerian economy

Shonekan was a British-trained lawyer, industrialist, and former Chief Executive of the United African Company of Nigeria Plc (UAC) before he was appointed as Interim President of Nigeria by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1993.

He was born on May 9, 1936, in Lagos into the family of an Abeokuta-born civil servant. He was educated at CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College.

The Lagos State Government had earlier declared that all adjoining and feeder roads leading to Marina would be cordoned off to allow easy access for guests that would be attending the burial service for the late Shonekan.

It said that the roads would be locked down for 13 hours and that traffic along Inner Marina would be diverted to the outer Marina around Oando filling station axis where they could further link their destinations.

According to the government, the roads would be shut down beginning from 5.00 am on Friday, 4th February 2022 and reopened to traffic around 6.00 pm the same day.

Through a statement released on Wednesday by the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, motorists have been directed to use other alternative routes to reduce travel time within the axis.

Oladeinde disclosed that motorists, who could not avoid the axis, should connect JK Randle street through Force Road and link Broad Street to continue their journey as Inner Marina Road/Odunlami Street from Outer Marina Road would be barred from vehicular movement.

In the same vein, Oladeinde stated that motorists descending CMS Bridge to Cathedral Church would be temporarily diverted to UBA roundabout and Apongbon axis for onward navigation to other inner parts of Lagos Island for easy access to their destinations.

The transport commissioner assured motorists that security and law enforcement agencies had been placed on standby for onward deployment to all strategic junctions/intersections as well as black spots to prevent any delays.

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