Senators on Wednesday paid glowing tributes to late Senator Ignatius Longjan during a valedictory session held in his honour in Abuja.
They described Longjan, a former deputy governor of Plateau State, was until his death in February 19, represented Plateau South in the upper legislative chamber as a patriotic and peaceful elder-stateman.
The senators dressed in black and white attires as they took turns to extol the virtues of their late colleague during the session attended by by his wife, children, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, deputy governor of Plateau State, former governor Jonah Jang and wife, among others.
Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi started the tributes by saying that Longjan’s death has thrown the Red Chamber into deep mourning.
He said: “The passing of Senator 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.
“His death has robbed the whole nation, Quanpan Local Government in Plateau South Senatorial District and all students, unions, associations and the National Assembly of the services of one its best and finest political and diplomatic icon.”
Abdullahi said that the late Longjan would forever live the memories of lawmakers as a patriotic, humble, peaceful and a great man of integrity.
In his own, 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.
Senate Acting 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, Senator 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
In his tribute, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said that with the dignitaries who graced the valedictory session, it showed that the people of Plateau were united irrespective of their differences.
He said that it was a lesson for the rest of the country that whatever their political or religious differences, citizens must find a common ground to live in peace.
“We pray the Almighty God to repose the soul of our late colleague in perfect peace.”
Lawan described the late Longjan as a very accommodating and tolerable person whose actions in humility did not place him in any disadvantaged position as far as the human characterisation was concerned.