President Muhammadu Buhari has described late Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, former Governor of Plateau State as a politician whose passion for the people remained paramount throughout his political journey.
The President who was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha unveiled the autobiography as well as the Solomon and Mary Lar Foundation and Institute in honour of the late Political leader, said Lar remained committed to democratic ideals during his lifetime leaving behind worthy legacies that have endured.
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong who was Chief Host of the event, disclosed that his preference for politics of inclusion and Bridge-building is a result of the mentoring he got from the first civilian Governor of Plateau State Chief Solomon Daushep Lar.
Lalong said like Baba Solomon Lar, he is not perturbed by criticism of his governance style which downplays exclusion, tribalism and religious bigotry.
He said “Personally, Chief Solomon Lar groomed me among many others in politicians and taught us so much about politics. One of the key things to highlight about Baba Lar are his politics of Principles; Inclusion; and Bridge-building. Although he stood by his principles in the opposition NPP, nevertheless he reached out and had friends across other political parties including the then ruling NPN and people from various parts of Nigeria. Some of his friends include people like Abubakar Rimi, Dr. Jim Nwobodo, Chief Bisi Akande among others”.
He recalled that In delivering service to the people, Baba Lar practiced and taught the principle of balance, inclusion, excellence and fairness. In his time, Plateau became home to people from all over Nigeria and foreigners because he never allowed ethnicity to becloud his search for capacity and excellence. He appointed non indigenes into very senior positions in Government because of their capacity. Among them is Justice Obi Okoye as Chief Judge of Plateau State and Mrs. Akinrinade, Commissioner of Finance. Mr. Chris Abashia, a Fulani man was his Special Adviser on Political Matters while in the Plateau State House of Assembly, an Urhobo man Chief Okporido was the Chief Whip.
This he said was the reason why he has adopted the philosophy of the late Political sage to ensure that Plateau State once again returns to its position as the Home of Peace and Tourism and a destination for all Nigerians and foreigners alike.
“Today, our Rescue Administration has continued to work hard to restore such legacies of Baba Lar in ensuring that Plateau State heals from wounds of its ugly past. Despite the criticism and attacks against me on appointments, rebuilding Jos Main Market, Peace Building and reconciliation among others, I have remained resolute because of the realization that even Chief Solomon Lar that we are eulogizing today faced such criticism over his decisions. However, posterity has vindicated him and he is now receiving accolades. My duty is to continue to appeal to our people and Nigerians not to politicise everything, but preach love, unity and peace”.
He said Baba Lar as he was fondly called, was a politician whose faith in God and belief in the tenets of democracy and freedom impacted his conduct at all times. Little wonder, he earned himself the name “Emancipator” because of his style of governance which endeared him to the grassroots in the then Plateau State that also included current Nasarawa State.
Chairman of the occasion and former President Goodluck Jonathan said Chief Solomon Daushep Lar was a great Nigerian who opened his arms to people from diverse backgrounds and also ensured that politics benefited people at the grassroots.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said the legacies of Chief Solomon Lar are numerous and worth celebrating for a political colossus of his calibre.
APC National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu and his PDP counterpart Senator Iyorchia Ayu said the event is coming at a time when political activities are in top gear in the country which brings an opportunity to reflect on the ideals he stood for and profusely defended, being one of those who played very important role in birthing the restoration of the democracy.
Widow of Chief Solomon Lar, Ambassador Mary Lar said she was highly elated by the honour done to her husband who stood for unity, love and selflessness throughout his political career.
She said the foundation and institute will vigorously pursue his ideals and also work towards ensuring that his mentoring legacy is sustained.