Wednesday 9 October 2013

Former PDP Chairman, Solomon Lar Is Dead

The founding chairman of Nigeria’s ruling party, Chief Solomon Daushep Lar has passed away.
An announcement by the government of the central state of Plateau said Lar, 80 years old, died in a US hospital.
Lar, veteran of many political struggles in Nigeria and first civilian governor of the old Plateau state in the Second Republic(1979-1983), was widely rumoured to have died a few days ago. But relations said he was alive, but on life support.
The Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang, announced his death on Wednesday in Jos.
“He died at about 3.00 a.m. American time (about 9.00 a.m. Nigerian time),” the governor told reporters on Wednesday evening.
Lar was born in Pongaa, Langtang, Plateau State in April 1933.
He studied at the Sudan United Mission Primary School in Langtang, and then at the Gindiri Teachers College. His ambition was to become a clergyman.
But his election as a councilor to the Langtang Natives Authority in January 1959 changed all that.
The same year, he was elected a member of the Nigerian Federal Parliament, then based in Lagos. He was elected on the platform of United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC).
He was reelected in 1964, and from then until 15 January 1966, when General Yakubu Gowon took power in a coup.

File Photo: Solomon Lar, right with President Jonathan
File Photo: Solomon Lar, right with President Jonathan
Lar served as parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He was also a Junior Minister in the Federal Ministry of establishments.
After the coup of 1966, Lar attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, graduating in 1970 with an LLB and being called to the bar in 1971.
He established a private legal practice, and was co-founder and first National Secretary of the Nigerian Legal Aid Association.
He was a member of the Constituent Assembly (1977–1978) and vice-chairman of the Justice Ayo Irikefe panel that recommended expanding Nigeria from 12 to 19 states.
At the start of the Second Republic, Lar was a co-founder of the Nigerian People’s Party and won the governorship election in Plateau State in 1979.
After the military coup in December 1983, he was sentenced to 88 years in prison by a military tribunal, serving his term first in Jos and then in Kirikiri in Lagos. He was released by another military regime.
During the Nigerian Third Republic, Lar was a supporter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He was appointed Minister of Police Affairs by the government of General Sani Abacha, later resigning when he realized Abacha was not serious about restoring democracy.
In a condolence message, President Goodluck Jonathan described Lar’s death as an ‘immense national loss’.
The president sent condolences to the Lar Family, Governor Jonah Jang, the people of Plateau State, the people of the Middle Belt and all others “for whom Chief Solomon was a much beloved, charismatic and inspirational political leader.”
Jonathan urged the people “to take solace in the knowledge that Chief Lar lived a long and most fulfilled life, and that his immense contributions to communal, state and national development have assured him of a place amongst the eternal heroes of the Nigerian nation”.
He said Lar will always be remembered for the exemplary humility, great vision, wisdom and maturity which he brought to political leadership in Nigeria for over 50 years as a legislator, executive governor, party leader and highly revered elder statesman.

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