Akin Akande, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed “deep sadness” over the death of its pioneer National Chairman and former Governor of Plateau state, Chief Solomon Lar, describing the development as a huge loss to the nation.
The ruling party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the death of the politician has “left a big vacuum not only in the party but in Plateau State and the nation at large.”
The party described Lar as a quintessential politician and patriot who sacrificed the greater part of his life for the entrenchment of true democracy and an egalitarian Nigeria where all are free.
Wednesday’s statement read in part: “Our hearts reach out to the government and people of Plateau state, the millions of PDP family nationwide, but most importantly to his loved ones and immediate family.
“Chief Solomon Lar will be remembered for his insistence on the emancipation of the masses and his white handkerchief. That is why he was fondly called the emancipator.
“PDP members will not forget the image of Chief Solomon Lar on the podium with his white handkerchief singing and dancing to the PDP song.
“PDP at the national level will participate fully in ensuring that Chief Solomon Lar is given an equivalent of a party national burial,” the PDP added.
Meanwhile the breakaway faction of the party led by Alhaji Abubakar Baraje has also described the death of elder statesman as great loss.
The faction said his death was shocking, adding that Chief Lar was a colourful politician of substance, a first-class patriot and an accomplished administrator.
The faction in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said: “As pioneer Chairman of PDP, he played a significant role in laying a solid foundation on which his successors built to make the party the poster boy of Nigerian politics and in sustaining and growing our hard-won democracy.
“Chief Lar’s death, coming on the heels of that of another of our former leaders, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, has robbed both our great party and the country at large of a rare voice of wisdom.
“We pray that God Almighty will accept his soul in eternity and grant us Nigerians the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“We hereby send our condolences to the Lar family, to the Plateau State Government, to President Goodluck Jonathan and to all Nigerians. A great man has departed! Adieu, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar.”