President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, who died on Tuesday in Abuja at the age of 74.
Mr Buhari, in a condolence message by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday in Abuja commiserated with leaders and members of the National Assembly, friends and political associates of the deceased.
The president noted that Mr Mantu dedicated most of his life to service of his people.
According to him, Mr Mantu’s legacy of reconciliation and promotion of peaceful co-existence will always be remembered, especially in bringing more harmony in his state and the country at large.
He prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed.
In his own tribute, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State described Mr Mantu as a grassroots politician who did everything within his power to serve and empower the people.
This was contained in a statement issued by Makut Macham, the state’s director of Press and Public Affairs in Jos on Tuesday.
Mr Lalong said the death of Mr Mantu, who is the Wazirin Pyem, is a great loss to Plateau and Nigeria at large.
“The news of the demise of the elder statesman and erudite politician was received with a heavy heart, recalling his enormous contributions to the socio-political development of the state and the nation at large.
“The late senator earned his place in Nigerian politics through active involvement and with a great connection to the youths whom he mentored not only in politics, but in his service to humanity,” he said.
The governor said the state would miss the voice of peace and unity as well as an advocate of social cohesion and tolerance which the late deputy senate represented particularly during the trying moments of its history.
‘’Until his death, he continued to avail the government of his wealth of experience and knowledge in running the affairs of the people,” he said.
The governor said the state would remain grateful for his political representation as two-term senator representing Plateau Central Zone where he emerged deputy senate president and did a lot to project and protect the interests of Plateau State at the red chambers.
He said Mr Mantu attracted many projects and programmes of the federal government to the state and also ensured that Plateau citizens were represented at various levels of the federal administration.
Mr Lalong condoled with the widow of the deceased, his children, people of Pyem Chiefdom and the entire state over the death of the late political leader “whose contributions to the growth of democracy in Nigeria remained indelible.”
He also prayed for God to forgive his sins and grant his soul eternal rest.
A former President of the Senate, David Mark, has also expressed shock and sadness over the demise of Mr Mantu.
Mr Mark, in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Paul Mumeh, on Tuesday in Minna, said Mr Mantu’s death was a devastating loss to the political class.
He noted that the former lawmaker died at a time when his wealth of experience, wisdom and services were most needed to navigate through the murky political terrain.
Mr Mark described Mr Mantu as a flamboyant leader, who brought panache, character and sagacity to the political space.
The former Senate President stated: “In Mantu, I have lost a friend, brother and compatriot who believed in the sanctity of our unity and ideals of nationhood.
“Mantu played a politics of inclusiveness, fairness, equity and justice. He was a politician who built bridges of understanding across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“He was a political leader of high repute. He stood to be counted when it mattered. His death is indeed one too many. He will sorely be missed.
“I am however consoled that Mantu lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation,” Mr Mark said.
The former Senate president prayed God in His infinite mercies to grant the deceased eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed sadness over the death of the former deputy senate president.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday in Abuja, described the late Mr Mantu, as a “pillar in the PDP,” who could not be forgotten.
Mr Ologbondiyan said the PDP was devastated and inconsolable by the death of one of its leading elders and a member of its Board of Trustees (BoT).
He said Mr Mantu’s death was a huge tragedy which had befallen not only the PDP but Nigeria at large.
“Sen. Mantu was a highly resourceful leader, an excellent lawmaker, exemplary democrat and dazzling political mobiliser; a very humble and detribalised statesman, who spent his life in innumerable sacrifices towards the unity, stability and economic development of our dear fatherland,’’ he said.
Mr Ologbondiyan noted that late Mr Mantu brought his love for the nation, as well as his skills to bear in the Senate, where he served as chairman, Senate committee on information, and deputy senate president.
He also noted that the late deputy senate president, who died on Tuesday, played key roles in stabilising the Senate for greater legislative productivity.
“His political dexterity as the Chairman of Joint National Assembly Constitution Review Committee from 2001 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2007, laid the strong foundation for successful reviews of the constitution to reflect the aspirations of Nigerians.
“Mantu was a pillar in the PDP and our party will never forget his sacrifices to ensure the success and growth of the PDP at all levels.
“Above all, Senator Mantu was a good man, a God-fearing soul, who spared nothing in ensuring the wellbeing of others above personal pursuits.
“Mantu’s death is indeed a big blow to our party, but we draw solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and made impart in his calling as a patriot,’’ Mr Ologbodiyan said.
The national publicity secretary said as the PDP grieves, the meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) earlier slated for Tuesday had been rescheduled for Wednesday in honour of the late Mr Mantu.
“Our party commiserates with the Mantu family, the PDP fold in Plateau state, the people of Plateau Central as well as the entire state.
“The PDP also prays for God to grant eternal rest to the faithful departed and to the bereaved, the fortitude to bear this huge loss,’’ Mr Ologbodiyan added.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...