By Henry Umoru, Abuja
NATIONAL Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC were yesterday told that the Bobo Street, off Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja was a rented apartment where the late pioneer Chairman of PDP, Chief Solomon Lar lived until his death.
Receiving Tukur yesterday at the Number 13 Bobo Street, off Gana street, Abuja during a condolence visit to the family house of the late politician, his Special Assistant, Ambassador Danladi Wuyep who disclosed that Lar was a detribalised personality and politician who always preached peace, unity and Godliness, said that he shared whatever he had to people around and was not into accumulating property which explained why he lived in a rented house as National Chairman of PDP and even after such a position, adding that he used his Certificate of Occupancies as collateral to collect money from banks, solve peoples problems and then pay later.
“This house is a rented house because his money was for everybody. Sometimes he will use his land papers as collateral to collect money from the banks and share to the downtrodden; we will come to him as our father,” Wuyep told Tukur.
With Tukur were the PDP Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus ; National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha; National Auditor, Adewale Adeyanju; National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon; Political Adviser to Tukur, Senator Abubakar Gada.
According to Wuyep, the late Lar even on his sick bed, was worried about the current crisis rocking the PDP and had always prayed that enduring peace and unity be enthroned in the party and a that if he were around, the crisis in the PDP which he termed nonsense would not have happened. He prayed that his death would bring lasting peace to the PDP and Nigeria in general, even as he urged the PDP leadership to embrace peace as a mark of honour for the late Elder statesman.
Meanwhile, a PDP stalwart, Chief Arthur Eze who was touched by the revelation of Chief Lar’s family, immediately accepted to pay for the house, just as he said that Chief Lar made him what he is today, changed him from a poor man to his present status, adding that it was bad that the politician lived in a rented house in Abuja.
Also speaking after Wuyep had earlier received Tukur and other members of NWC, daughter of late Chief Solomon Lar and member, federal House of Representatives, Beni Lar who disclosed that the peace and unity of Nigeria was of great concern to her father until his death, maintained that her father was a great father and a politician with great repute who had great ideology, adding, “Daddy’s concern is that Nigerians live in unity and peace. Though we all grief today, we pray God to raise many more leaders that will have the kind of philosophy he had for Nigeria.”
Earlier, the PDP National Chairman in a letter to Professor Mary Lar, wife of the late politician and titled, “PASSAGE OF SOLOMON D. LAR. The End of An Era “, read : “It is with shock that I received the shattering news of the passage of one of Nigeria’s greatest nationalists Chief Dr Solomon Lar. Chief Solomon Lar has been a close friend and an associate, to me politically for a long time . He was open minded, fearless, dogged and a resolute fighter for the right of the oppressed and the less privileged.
“A great family man and disciplinarian. Lar was a dependable husband to his spouse and a loving father who cherished his children.He did not spare anything in giving his children the best training and education.
“It is worthy to note also that Chief Lar was one of those who challenged certain policies of the military regime at that time despite the dangers to their lives and property which such divergent views posed.
“Chief Lar stood to be counted among other nationalists and brave statesmen who refused to keep quiet while the nation was getting close to the precipice. It was his group which midwifed the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lar was one of the founding fathers of PDP and our pioneer Chairman.
“He also led the PDP to electoral victories in 1999. In a sense, Chief Lar laid the foundation for the strong resilient and vibrant political party which the PDP is today.
“The nation is indeed bereaved by the sad loss of Chief Lar at this point in our political and democratic development.
“On behalf of my family and the Peoples Democratic Party, I send you my heartfelt condolence on this national loss.May God give you, his immediate family the fortitude to bear this loss.”
Also signing the condolence register at his Bobo Street residence, Tukur said, “`the nation has lost a great leader and an emancipator of the trodden masses.
He was an icon in political firmament. May his good soul rest in peace.”
Also mourning Chief Lar, governors elected on the platform of PDP under the aegis, PDP governors’ Forum described him as a true patriot.
A statement by the forum’s Chairman and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio who sent his condolences to the people of Plateau state on the passing of Chief Solomon Lar, said “the late Solomon Lar was a true patriot who fought for the enshrinement of a democratic culture in Nigeria.”
He noted that Chief Lar’s work as the first national Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP was instrumental to the success of the party, just as he also sympathized with the family of the late statesman and prayed that God will comfort them as they mourn.
Also in his words on the register, former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, said, “death has snatched the political class of the greatest leader of our time. Chief Solomon was a committed democrat; a politicians’ politician, an exemplary leader and above all, a practising Christian. He lived for the people and died for the people.’’
Also mourning Lar, former PDP National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali described the late politician as a quintessential statesman, a politician and bridge builder who gave more than half of his life time to the service of his country and the people which spanned across all the Republics, adding, “I must confess that I feel a sense of personal loss on the death of this political strategist and mass mobilizer in whose depth of experience I tapped from in running our dear party, PDP for three years.”
Also a Presidential adviser, Chief Isaiah Balat in the condolence register wrote that, “ our leader is gone, this is an end of an era. Baba Lar did well for Nigeria, he showed leadership when the country needed him. He is the architect of the democracy we are enjoying today. He accomplished dreams of J.S. Tarka in the Middle Belt, his umbrella was large to cover all of us in the country.”