The Senate on Tuesday eulogised a late senator, Ben Uwajumogwu.
The lawmakers dedicated the whole of the day to a valedictory session for the late senator.
Mr Uwajumogwu died on December 18, 2019. He was 51.
He represented Imo North senatorial district under the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Until his death, he was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity.
His coffin was laid outside the chamber with well-wishers and trumpeters playing sounds around it.
During the valedictory session, many lawmakers took turns to talk about Mr Uwajumogwu as they recalled the fun moments they had with him.
The Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, recalled how he often joked with the late senator about the size his stomach.
He affected life. He was a big man with a big heart. He was very accommodating, Mr Abaribe noted.
“He carried everyone even the younger generation and they saw him as an icon to look up to. He was very soft-spoken even in the midst of problem, he will answer you with very few words and you will calm down.
“He never shook the table like I do, maybe it is because I am small. Benji was such a great man. We will miss him,” he added.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-agege, said he and the late lawmaker had almost identical political trajectory.
We both came in the 8th Senate after so much litigations and the moment we got in here, we bonded like brothers. We did everything together. We shared so much in common, he explained.
“Call us rebels if you like. In the 8th Senate, big Ben and I, we played very critical role in our committee on INEC over the electoral act.
“It is no longer news that just as we were about to triumphantly claim victory, we threw a curve ball with the introduction of a section in the amended electoral act that would have altered the sequence of elections.
“Some of us were very opposed to that and we didn’t hesitate in stating our vehemence against that proposed section of the amendment,” he said.
Ike Ekweremadu said it was amazing that even as the body of late Uwajumogu was lying outside, some compatriots were already struggling to take over his seat.
“My advice is, let us mourn, honour and bury him then we can express our ambitions. But that tells you the vanity of life. This is my 17th year and I have had unfortunate experience of paying tributes to our colleagues in active service.
“Those of us who are survivors today, will definitely be victims tomorrow. People will hate or like you; in spite of all these try to do our best because it is what you have done that you will be remembered,” he said.
Elisha Abbo (PDP, Adamawa) recalled how the late lawmaker always encouraged and prayed for him “when he had personal issues.”
“He was always getting personal with people. He is not dead, he is sleeping. He will wake up tomorrow as we will all meet at the other side of the river,” he said.
On his part, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the late senator lived and died for his people.
He gave a very good account of himself as a human being. Calm, cool and calculated, he said.
“Ben was something else, when there was crisis he would preach that we should unite and that we are one as a Senate. He remained the same person up to the last day he contributed to his last debate which has been referred by our colleagues.
“In that debate, he urged the government to stand up for her citizens wherever they may live.
“As a politician, he had a very good trajectory having served as a speaker in Imo State. Ben was not someone that was controversial. He was always straight to the point, no controversy but deep.
“He has left but he has left something for us – humanity. There is nothing more important for us than working for Nigeria.”
The lawmakers held a minute silence for Mr Uwajumogwu after which they all stepped out to pay their last respect to him.
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...