Jos – President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday called on politicians across the political divide to bury their differences and work for the unity and progress of the country.
Jonathan, who made the call at the funeral service of late Chief Solomon Lar in Jos, said that political parties were only platforms to contest elections.
“Politicians should always consider the interest of the nation above their personal and parochial interests once elected into positions of leadership,” he said.
He cited the relationship between the late Lar and a former president of the country, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who in spite of belonging to two opposing parties, worked as a team.
“Let us follow with his vision; let us continue to serve our people and not our personal interests,” he said.
Jonathan said during his interactions with the deceased while he was alive, the late PDP stalwart proved that he loved the people and joined politics to emancipate them not to amass personal wealth.
The president said that the funeral was not to mourn the deceased elder statesman, but to celebrate his life as a man who lived a fulfilled life.
In his tribute, Gov. Jonah Jang of Plateau said that Lar touched the lives of the people in his over five decades in politics in the service of the state and humanity.
According to him, the deceased symbolised the convergence of religion and politics, adding that the late Lar was the father of democracy in Plateau and the nation at large.
“Today we are bidding goodbye to a man of vision and peace whose legacy will never be forgotten in the annals of time,’’ the governor said.
In his tribute, the Gwong Gwom Jos and Chairman, Plateau traditional rulers’ council, Buba Gyang, said that Lar contributed a lot to the peace and unity of the state and Nigeria.
He described Lar, who held the traditional title of Walin Langtang, as a respected traditional ruler in the state.
He urged politicians to emulate Lar and refrain from hitting up the polity because of their ambition.
The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, said that the late Lar did not only serve God successfully, but also did a lot for the downtrodden.
“He was a man of peace, dialogue and reconciliation who wanted an enduring peace for Nigeria and Nigerians,” he said.
Kaigama, however, had a message for Lar to take to God on his arrival in heaven.
“He should tell God that we thank Him for the present level of peace in the state and country.
“He should tell God that we want more peace in the villages.
“He should tell God to banish corruption from our land and our lives; we pray his legacies should endure.” (NAN)