Good luck Eblele Jonathan, the former Nigerian president said yesterday that Nigeria can’t make any meaningful progress owing to the depth of ethnicity and religious division in the country.
Jonathan said this at the opening of the Solomon and Mary Lar Leadership Institute and the public presentation of late elder statesman Chief Solomon Lar’s memoirs, “Chronicles of the Rainbow.”
In Jonathan’s statement and exhortation, he said the late elder statesman and politician “offered love in the place of bitter and divisive politicking, built bridges to cement the cracks in our unity, and showed courage in the face of injustice and military dictatorship.”
Nigeria Won’t Work while in Deep Ethnic and Religious Divisions – Jonathan
Lar was formerly the national chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and the first civilian governor of Plateau state, Nigeria.
In addition, Jonathan said, “Sadly, we are now playing the kind of politics that Chief Lar detested. Issues around ethnicity, religious bigotry, hate speech, and personal attacks, rather than principles and policies affecting the lives of Nigerians, have continued to dominate political discourses around the country, as political parties begin their campaigns.
“There is no country that has made meaningful progress in the face of deep ethnic and religious division as is being experienced in our country today.
“I urge today’s politicians who are seeking to occupy different elective offices across the nation as well as leaders and promoters of the various political parties to learn from the likes of Chief Solomon Lar who played politics of sacrifice and selflessness, in the interest of the people.”
The event also had the current Nigerian president, President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance. President Muhammadu Buhari described Lar as a politician who had a paramount passion for the people throughout his political journey.
Although the president was represented by Boss Mustapha (secretary to the government of the federation), the president said that the Lar was committed to the ideals of democracy through out his lifetime at the expense of legacies.
Also present was the incumbent Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong – Chief host of the event. Simon stated that Lar was the inspiration for him delving into politics.
This was butressed by the director of press and public affairs (Dr. Makita Simon Macham) statement that Simon says he is not disturbed by the criticism about his governance style which is against exclusion, tribalism, and religious bigotry and is same as Lar’s.
Simon said, “Personally, Chief Solomon Lar groomed me among many other politicians and taught us so much about politics. One of the key things to highlight about Baba Lar is 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 Abubakar Rimi, Dr. Jim Nwobodo, Chief Bisi Akande among others”.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, APC and PDP national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Iyorchia Ayu, respectively, said that Chief Solomon’s life is worth celebrating and the event is timely owing to the current political system in the country.
The presentation of Lar’s biography gave room to reflect on the ideals Lar portrayed especially to the restoration of democracy in the country.
The Late elder stateman’s wife, Ambassador Mary Lar, expresses appreciation for honoring her late husband and his contribution in the country.
She asserted that the foundation and institute will tenaciously uphold his mentorship legacy as well as fiercely pursue his principles.
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