…As Senate pays tribute to Senator Longjan
By Ignatius Okorocha
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, will lead a delegation of Senators to the funeral service of Late Senator Longjan Ignatius Dantong slated for March 2, 2020, in Plateau State.
The resolution to lead a delegation to the burial was reached after a valedictory session on Tuesday, held in honour of the deceased by the Upper Chamber.
The session followed a motion moved by Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi having moved for the suspension of Order 17 of the Senate to allow visitors into the chamber.
Senators dressed in white and back attires took turn to pay glowing tributes to the late senator.
The Senate President, while paying glowing tribute to the former Senator who represented Plateau South Senatorial district in his lifetime, said his death leaves a lot of lessons to be learned by Nigerians.
“This kind of presence tells a story that Plateau today is united. This is a lesson to the rest of the country. No matter our differences, whether political, religious or ethnic, we must find a common ground.
“I was so encouraged by the kind of response, the deep feelings that the set of people we have today in Plateau’s leadership, and this is not the executive alone, but including the legislature, both here in Abuja and the House of Assembly.”
Lawan, who extolled the lawmaker’s humility, added, “Life is what we make of it. All of us, who spoke about our late colleague, spoke glowingly of who he was, and that was because of how he lived.
“He was everything and yet he acted like he was nobody. His actions in humility did not in anyway place him at disadvantage as far as human characterization is concerned.
“There are very boisterous, vociferous and noisy people in life, but when they die, the commentaries will be silent. So, there’s also a lesson for us here, just like most of our colleagues said, what do we want to be remembered for? We all want to be remembered for good.”
Earlier, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, described the deceased as a statesman who wrote his name in gold as a diplomat and politician in Nigeria’s history.
Abdullahi said that Longjan’s death “has thrown the Senate in deep mourning once again, having lost one of its own, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu barely two months ago.”
The passing of Sen. Longjan came as a rude shock, like a thunderbolt to all of us. His sudden exit is a very big blow not only to his immediate family but to all of us.
Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe said that yet again, the Senate had lost another good man.
“A few days ago we were here doing this same thing, a valedictory for one of our colleagues.
“The question we always ask, Mr President is, why are we losing the good ones. All the wicked people are in this country they don’t die.
“It is the good ones that go. And so we commiserate with the wife, children and the people that he represents and of course the diplomatic community from where he came and Nigerians in general.
“Those of us from the south east, the Igbos, we say “death doesn’t know how to make choices on those that it wants to take otherwise it wouldn’t take a nice, humble, very unassuming person like Longjan.
“The Holy Book says there is time for everyone. I believe this is his time but I want to tell the family too, we Igbos also say death does not take away your name if you have done well, and so Longjan, nobody will take away, this death will not take away his name.”
Senate Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi said that “when good people leave, you begin to wonder but of course you take solace in the fact that good people leave good name. He was calm and calculated.”
Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha said that the deceased was a complete gentleman and a man of few words.
“Men of few words are not many in our society of today. He who speaks few words, is somebody we hold in high esteem. He was an encyclopedia of wisdom,” Bwacha said.
Also, Sen. Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau North) said that the deceased lived to see good, to do good and to advance the course of humanity.
He said that Longjan had existed “from our clime, a refined elder statesman, a man of peace who cultivated the culture of patience, reselience and honesty.
“He was who would forego his personal interest for the good of others. Vanities of life where not an attraction nor his pursuit. He was not one given to the futility of superfluity. But a man of decency and calmness.”
Senator representing Plateau Central, Hezekiah Dimka said the deceased was his mentor and was an epitome of humility, dedication and loyalty.
Rochas Okorocha (APC – Imo West), who showered tributes on Longjan, said the lawmaker was a peace lover who displayed so much humility, adding that “rather than mourn, let us celebrate him.”
Yaroe Binos Dauda (PDP – Adamawa South), called on his colleagues to emulate the qualities, as well as preserve the legacy left behind by the deceased lawmaker.