The Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has learnt with shock of the death of Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, the First Civilian Governor of Plateau State and First National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Baraje led-PDP expressed shock over the exit of Chief Lar in a statement by Mr Eze Chukwuemeka who described the statesman as “a colourful politician of substance, a first-class patriot and an accomplished administrator”.
The statement noted that as a former pioneer Chairman of the PDP, Lar played a significant role in laying a solid foundation on which his successors built to make the party the poster boy of Nigerian politics and in sustaining and growing democracy.
According to Eze, “Chief Lar’s death, coming on the heels of that of another of our former leaders, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, has robbed both our great party and the country at large of a rare voice of wisdom”.
“We pray that God Almighty will accept his soul in eternity and grant us Nigerians the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”, Baraje led-PDP prayed.
The first civilian governor of Plateau state and pioneer chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Solomon Lar died in an American hospital in the early hours of Wednesday after a protracted illness.
Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state had announced the passing on of the elder statesman at Government House and lodge in Jishe, describing the late politician as an illustrious son of Plateau, Nigeria and the African continent, considering his immense contribution during the colonial and military regimes.
Chief Lar, who died at the age of 90 in a Maryland hospital, where he has been receiving treatment, was born in Pongaa, Langtang local government area of Plateau state in April 1933.
He was elected as a councilor to the Langtang Natives Authority in January 1959 and to the Federal Parliament On 12 December 1959 on the platform of Untied 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, Lar was parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister ABubakar Tafawa Balewa.
He was also a Junior Minister in the Federal Ministry of establishments
Lar was a co-founder of the Nigerian People’s Party in the 2nd Republic. He was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in 1978, and later won the governorship election in Plateau State as the first Executive Governor on 1 October 1979.
A military tribunal set up by General Muhammed Buhari, which tried all former governors, sentenced Lar to 88 years in prison, first in Jos and then in Kirikiri in Lagos.
His case was reviewed and was released by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida before he was appointed Minister of Police Affairs by the government of General Sani Abacha.
He became first National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (PDP) in 1998, a position he held until 2002 when he handed over to Chief Barnabas Gemade while in February 2004 he resigned as chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, handing over to Chief Tony Anenih at a caucus meeting in Abuja.