President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday received the remains of AS part of the late pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Solomon Lar at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The president, who was represented at the airport by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed, extolled the virtues of Late Chief Solomon Lar, describing him as a legendary politician who was an epitome of emancipation, reconciliation and peace.
Speaking while receiving the remains of the late elder statesman on behalf of President Jonathan, Senator Bala Mohammed stressed that he fought gallantly, but peacefully for the common man.
He described the late first civilian governor of old Plateau state as an inspirational leader who stood for unity and harmony among all Nigerians. “This great man has lived and conquered; he is indeed a role model especially for younger politicians,” he added.
The minister explained that the president had mandated him to stand in for him at the solemn ceremony because he (the president) was away in France on a very important state duty.
Also present to pay their tributes at the ceremony were Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state, PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana who is also the chairperson of the Solomon Lar Burial Organizing Committee, clergy men, senior government officials, indigenes of Nasarawa, Bauchi and Plateau states.
In his tribute, Professor Jerry Gana described the late Lar as “the Mandela of Nigeria”. “He was a man of firsts: he was the first PDP National Chairman; the first civilian governor of Plateau state and several other firsts”, he stated.
There will be an ecumenical service today at the National Christian Centre in honour of the late politician, while a memorial lecture will be held in his honour on Monday at the Ladi Kwali conference hall in Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.