By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Since the news of the demise of the former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Senator Ignatius Longjan broke on Monday morning, encomium has continued to pour in as citizens of the State mourn Longjan who was a serving Senator representing Plateau South Senatorial zone in the National Assembly.
The late Longjan, a retired career diplomat was the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism.
Until 2015, he was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party but later defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC on which platform he was elected a Senator.
Citizens including the State Governor, Simon Lalong, a former Ambassador of Nigeria to Switzerland, Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, a former State PDP Chairman, Raymond Dabo, Member representing Mangu/Bokkos federal constituency, Solomon Maren, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the State, Dakas Dakas among others eulogized him.
Reacting to his demise, the State Governor, Simon Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham said the death of the elder statesman is a huge loss to not only his family, the people of Plateau South Senatorial District, but the entire State because of his immense contributions to the development of the State and the nation.
His words, “We have lost a man of honour and candour who in all his affairs always put the interests of Plateau State first. His humility, humanity and wealth of wisdom was always at display when he weighed on any issue that concerns people. We will surely miss him.”
Raymond Dabo stated, “He was a gentleman, very honest, accessible. I knew him a long time ago before he became the Auditor of my political party when I was the State Deputy Chairman. From there, he became Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang, and eventually became the Deputy Governor. We had a remarkable relationship.”
Ambassador Yahaya Kwande added, “We feel very sorry, it is a big loss to the community. He was a very nice person, well trained diplomat who knew how to handle human beings. His orientation as a diplomat helped to project him to the love of the people of Plateau State.”
Maren noted, “I had a privilege of working with him, when he was the Deputy Governor and I was serving as a Commissioner, we worked closely as a team from 2011-2015, I cherish every fond memories we had. No one and nothing can fill the void created; he was an embodiment of humility, a courageous leader and a man of honour.”
Dakas Dakas SAN commented, “A monumental loss! We will miss his uncommon humility, dedicated public service and enormous contributions to the development of our dear State. May God grant him eternal rest and comfort members of his family, friends, political associates, well wishers, as well as the government and good people of Plateau State.”