Lar: Buhari, Ihedioha, governors, CAN pay tributes to ‘apostle of peace’MORE tributes have continued to pour in for the late first civillian governor of Plateau State, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, who died in the United States on Wednesday. He was 80 .
Former Head of State and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said Nigeria and Nigerians will miss the politics without bitterness played by the late Chief Lar.
In a condolence letter to the widow of the late politician, Mary, a professor, Gen. Buhari recalled that Lar handled various challenging national assignments to conclude that the circumstances of our initial interaction following our assumption of power in 1983 could have been more auspicious.
The former Head of State said: “I received the news of the transition of Chief Solomon Lar, former Governor of Plateau State in the Second Republic, former Minister of Police Affairs and the pioneer Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with great sadness.
“My sympathy goes to his family, friends, relatives and political associates who will feel most strongly the huge void that his exit has created. May Almighty give you all the fortitude to bear this loss.
“It has taken decades of knowing Chief Solomon Lar as he handled various challenging national assignments to conclude that the circumstances of our initial interaction following our assumption of power in 1983 could have been more auspicious.
“Knowing him in recent years have persuaded me that we all have to do our duties to the best of our understanding believing that this country is greater than all of us. The important thing is that at the end of the day history will record his legacy as one of selfless service to his fatherland.
“He towers among several progressives who preached and practised politics without bitterness. He carried on with a patriotic zeal in the service of his fatherland even in the face of odds. As the nation mourns, I say adieu to a man who stood by the people and remained principled when it mattered most.
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday said the party would ensure a befitting burial for Chief Lar.
Tukur, who spoke in Abuja when he briefed reporters, said the party would greatly miss Lar who was “a light in the political firmament.’’
He said the vacuum created by the death of Lar would be difficult to fill “because he was an emancipator of the less privileged and a democrat of repute.”
The PDP national chairman said Lar as a former Governor of Plateau and one who had always been in the corridors of power, never compromised his stance.
“He started young as a Parliamentary Secretary and was always in the corridors of power and politics but never compromised’’, Tukur stressed.
He said that although Lar was dead, the PDP leadership would continue to work towards ensuring enduring peace in the party.
This, according to him, was the desire of Lar as manifested symbolically in the white handkerchief he always waved at political meetings.
“It is a pity that Lar had gone, but we will continue to pray and ask for peace which he had already prayed for’’, Tukur said.
He prayed God to grant his soul a peaceful rest and his family, the PDP family and the nation the fortitude to bear his loss.
“All we can say is to pray for his family, friends and associates to take solace because it is very difficult to replace such a giant’’, Tukur said.
Meanwhile, a condolence register had been opened at the PDP national headquarters for the late Lar.
House Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha yesterday described the late Chief Lar, as a nationalist and statesman.
Ihedioha, in a message to the deceased’s family and the Plateau State Government, expressed deep shock over the death of the politician. He said he received the news “with pains and regrets” in far away Switzerland where he is attending the International Parliamentary Union conference.
The Deputy Speaker, who also described Lar as a detribalised Nigerian, said Nigeria has lost one of the finest politicians the nation has ever produced, for a long time remained a link between the old and new breed politicians.
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi described Chief Lar, as a statesman who was passionate about the country’s development.
Fayemi said the death of Chief Lar marked the depletion of the rank of honest and committed politicians who never saw politics as an opportunity to amass wealth but a means to serve the people.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, said Chief Lar preached his brand of politics with maturity and candour.
Fayemi said Chief Lar has proved beyond every reasonable doubt that it is very much possible to play politics without tarnishing one’s image and reputation.
He noted that the deceased was never indicted of any act of fraud or corrupt enrichment by any Judicial Commission of Inquiry or Military Tribunal after he had left office.
The Governor described Lar as an apostle of peace who never encouraged violence either in words or in actions and stood out to be counted for counsel when Plateau State was engulfed in sectarian violence some years ago.
Fayemi pointed out that the legacies left behind by Chief Lar during his tenure as Governor of the state that has since been split into Plateau and Nasarawa states are still enduring. He added that the country would miss the wise counsel of the deceased.
He urged the families and associates of the late former governor to be consoled by the good life he lived and the positive impact he had on his generation.
Kaduna State Governor Muktahar Yero, who expressed sadness over the death of Chief Lar, described the former governor as “a patriotic elder statesman, who dedicated his life to the service of his people and the country.”
According to him, history would be fair to Lar for his selfless commitment to the unity of the diverse people in the North as well as national cohesion. He said Lar’s death is a loss to the entire country and not to his immediate family or the people of Plateau State alone.
Yero said the death of the respected elder statesman came at a time the country needed the advice and guidance of its elders in the effort of building an enduring democracy that will guarantee peace, unity and progress of the nation.
He said: “Our hearts and prayers are with the immediate family of the late Chief Lar, as we urge them to take solace in the fact that their patriarch lived a fulfilled life of service to humanity. On behalf of the Government and the good people of Kaduna State, we wish to express our sincere condolences with the Government and the people of Plateau State over this colossal loss. We pray that God Almighty grant the soul of our late leader eternal rest and give those he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday expressed sadness over the passing away of Chief Lar.
In a statement by the Special Assistant, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor conveyed his heartfelt sympathy to the family of the foremost politician, the good people and government of Plateau State.
According to him, Chief Lar lived a life wholly dedicated to peace and human happiness, a trait he said demonstrated Lar’s principles based on his exceptional skills in learning and focused self-study.
He said:” As the first chairman of the PDP, Lar symbolised the distinctive character of politics without bitterness while improving on the democratic ideals left by Nigeria’s founding fathers.
“As a politician and one time governor of old Plateau State, Lar did not restrict himself to the development of the then Plateau State alone, he extended his audience base, emphasising the pressing social issues of the times.
“Nigerians and indeed the political class will surely miss him. As we pray for the repose of his soul, we express deep sympathy to the bereaved family; we also urge all the present crop of politicians to imbibe some of the great virtues that typified his life and foray into politics.
Kogi State Governor Idris Wada described Lar’s death as a loss to the nation.
Wada, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Mr Jacob Edi, said Lar’s invaluable contributions to national development will be missed.
He said: “Our heart here in Kogi State goes to the immediate family of the late Chief Lar, the good people of Plateau State and the country in general.”
The Kogi governor who described the former PDP chair as a leader, a nationalist and a great mobiliser of people, prayed God to grant him eternal rest.
Abia State governor Theodore Orji expressed shock over the death of Chief Lar.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ugochukwu Emezue, Orji said the death of the elder-statesman occurred at a time when his valuable contributions to the nation’s development are needed.
The governor who went down memory lane recalled the numerous achievements the late former governor recorded while in the saddle as the number one citizen of Plateau State and the focused direction he gave the ruling party.
He said the elder statesman will be missed. Orji commiserated with Governor Jonah Jang, the people of the state and the family of the deceased over the sad event and urged them to bear the loss with fortitude.
A former Governor of Abia State Dr. Orji Kalu, described the late Chief Lar as an accomplished humanitarian and an incomparable politician.
Kalu said Lar’s death was a big blow to the nation as he would be sorely missed by those whose lives he touched in various ways.
The former Governor, who described the late politician as a symbol of statesmanship, in a condolence message signed by his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, said: “Chief Lar was an accomplished humanitarian and a consummate politician.
“He touched the lives of many less-privileged in the society through his philanthropic gestures.
“He was a detribalised Nigerian, who built friendship and relationships across boundaries irrespective of age, social status, religion, race and tribe.
“Above all, he lived a fulfilled life worthy of emulation and will be remembered for his forthrightness on national issues.”
Former President Shehu Shagari’s adviser on National Assembly Matters, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai described Lar’s death as not only shocking but a great loss to the country and particularly Plateau State.
Yakasai, in Kano noted that Lar would for a long time to come be remembered as a founding father and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which he helped to nurture.
Lar’s all-embracing attitude, according to Yakasai, would never be forgotten by all those who came in contact with him particularly the political class, who hold him in a high esteem as an elder statesman.
As a member of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), Yakasai noted that Lar did not discriminate against the North and the minority but carried everybody along on equal basis, which is an attribute that engendered him to everybody, irrespective of religion or race.
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe said the death “has created a large vacuum in the hearts of Nigerians which will be difficult to fill.”
Angwe said this in a condolence letter to the deceased’s daughter and Chairperson, House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Rights, Beni Lar.
In a statement yesterday, NHRC’s Director, Public Affairs and Communication, Muhammad Ladan, quoted Angwe as saying that Lar’s death “is a monumental loss to the whole country politically and otherwise”.
Reminiscing on the deceased’s life and times, Angwe said: “We, are, however consoled by the nuggets of unquantifiable legacies he has left behind.
He prayed that God grants him eternal rest and to his family and loved ones, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State described the death of Chef Lar as a painful loss to Nigeria.
In a statement, by his Director of Press and Public Relations, Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, the governor described the late Chief Lar as a dogged politician, dynamic leader and well-respected statesman. “Chief Lar was the pioneer national chairman and later chairman of the Board of Trustees of our great party, the PDP. He contributed immeasurably towards building the party and ensuring its success at all levels. We shall surely miss him”, the statement said.
“It is painful that we have lost such an icon at this point in time but we must be consoled by the fact that Chief Lar’s life was spent in the service of mankind”, the governor lamented.
He, therefore, prayed God to stand by the bereaved family members in this time of sorrow and grant Nigerians, particularly people of Plateau State the courage to bear the loss.
Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed described the death of Chief Lar as a national loss.
Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, noted that the demise of the elder statesman is even more painful as the nation has not only been deprived of the depth of his experience as a seasoned politician but at a time when his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the nation are going through real and enduring transformation.
He said that the late politician was particularly outstanding in the country’s political terrain because he “was an adherent of political integration and inclusiveness who played a significant role in the Second Republic: He observed that the late astute politician would be remembered for his exemplary humility, vision and the maturity he brought to political leadership in the country for more than 50 years of Nigeria’s nationhood.
The governor said that the death of Chief Lar had left a big vacuum not only in the party but in Plateau State and Nigeria as a whole and prayed God to grant him eternal rest and grant the family, the government and people of Plateau State and the nation at large the fortitude to bear the loss.
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State expressed shock at the death of Chief Lar. He condoled with the people of Plateau State, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) family and, indeed, all Nigerians who feel the pain of Chief Lar’s departure. He described as a “this national treasure.”
He described the late statesman as someone who placed the national interest above his personal interest and served his nation with great passion, delight and love.
Akpabio maintained that the duty of all his admirers in particular and Nigerians in general was to continue his work and realise his principles and values in our nation- building efforts.
The governor said that in every situation that the late statesman found himself while he was alive, either as the first civilian governor of Plateau State or the pioneer Chairman of PDP, he acquitted himself creditably and cast his moral shadow across the nation.
He urged his survivors to be consoled that though he is dead, the memory of his good works and labours of love Nigeria would be stenciled in the sands of time and be embalmed eternally in the sacred places of our hearts.
Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam has said he received with shock the passing on of Chief Lar. The governor said the departure of the elderstatesman has created a leadership vacuum in the politics of the nation especially the Northcentral geo-political zone.
Suswam described the former Governor of Plateau State as a rare leader whose interest in politics was always to fight for the cause of the less privileged and the down-trodden hence he was referred to as the “Emancipator”.
The late Lar, Suswam recalled, sacrificed his entire life to the service of the people and offered selfless service in all the political positions he occupied either as member of the House of Representatives, Governor of Plateau state, Minister of Police Affairs or as pioneer National Chairman of the PDP.
He condoled with the Lar family, the government and people of Plateau state and members of the PDP across the nation over the sad incident and prayed God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest