The death has been announced of first civilian governor of Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar.
The state government in an announcement in Jos, Plateau state, said Lar, 80, died in a United States hospital, after a protracted illness.
According to the statement, Lar died at about 3.00 a.m. American time (about 9.00 a.m. Nigerian time).
He was the first chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Born in 1933, the late Lar was educated at Sudan United Mission School, Langtang, 1944-49; Sudan United Teachers’ Training College, Gindiri, 1950-53; Ahmadu Bello University, 1966-70 as well as the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, 1971.
He was a school teacher, 1954-55; Member, Federal House, 1959-64; Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Establishment, 1964-66; National Secretary, Nigeria Legal Aid Association, 1973; Chairman, Plateau State Manpower Development Panel, 1975; Chairman, African Continental Bank Ltd, 1976-79; Founder, Club 19, later Nigeria People’s Party, 1977; First Civilian Governor and Chief Executive, Plateau State, 1979-83; Minister, Police Affairs, 1993; member, the group of 34; Chairman, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), 1998-2006; member, Action Congress, 2006 to date.
As a former PDP Chairman and Plateau State kingpin, Solomon Lar remained an important figure in Nigerian Politics.
His support was key to Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 as he helped deliver wavering delegates from the middle belt. 2006 saw him become disaffected by the divides emerging within the PDP, which he demonstrated by joining the Action Congress Party (ACP).
Until ill-health forced him out of the public eye, Lar remained a high profile figure in Plateau State and heads a 15-member Federal Government special committee on the recurrent Jos crises.