By Taye Obateru & Bernard Lucas
Former Civilian Governor of OldPlateauState and pioneer Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Solomon Lar was yesterday buried at his Langtang country home in Plateau State amidst eulogies.
The burial climaxed series of activities organized in honour of the elder statesman in Abuja, Lafia and in Jos.
The funeral service held at the Rwang Pam Stadium yesterday was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan and many other dignitaries from across the country.
Jonathan described Lar as an exemplary politician whose selflessness and broad-mindedness should be emulated by the country’s political leaders as he did not go into politics to amass wealth.
He urged politicians to, like Lar, place the interest of the country above personal interest adding, “political parties are platforms for us to contest elections; we may have different ideologies, but our ideologies should be channeled toward solving human problems.”
He recalled how the late politician as governor, had excellent relationships with people across political parties including the then President Shehu Shagari who belonged to a different political party and praised his courage for being among those who took a letter to the late Military Head of State, General Sani Abacha not to succeed himself.
According to President Jonathan, “Those of us who are into politics either as president, governors, ministers, senators, need to learn from this great man of honour and peace who has given all his life serving humanity. If all the leaders of this country have the kind of spirit and heart of late Solomon Lar, Nigeria would have been a better place.”
However, there was a poor turn out for the funeral service despite the declaration of the day as a public holiday by the state government as a result of the tight security mounted around the stadium and what some called poor mobilization by the organisers.
Many residents said they were scared by the level of security they saw and decided to keep their distance while many others claimed they were turned by by security men at the gate.
There was a mild drama when the body arrived the stadium as some family members, disappointed at the poor turnout were said to have asked that the corpse be taken back as such a crowd was un-befitting of someone known as a man of the people.
Widow of the late politician, Professor Mary Lar thanked the Federal and state governments, the church and others who supported the family during his illness and since his death recalling how her late husband sued for unity in the state and the country at large up to his last moments. Other dignitaries we graced the funeral service included Senate President David Mark, Speaker House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu, former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo and Governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi, Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Theodore Orji of Abia and acting Taraba State Governor, Alhaji Umar Garba.
Other were, retired generals Theophilus Danjuma, Zamani Lekwot, Dan Suleiman, Senator Isaiah Balat, FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, Water Resources Minister, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, Mrs. Pauline Tallen and many others.
The body was conveyed by road to Langtang for burial after the funeral service.