Senators hold valedictory session in honour of Longjan

February 26, 2020
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Senators, on Wednesday, held a valedictory session in honour of their late colleague and senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District until his demise, Senator Ignatius Longjan.

The late Senator died on February 10 after a protracted illness.

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.

First to open the floor for the torrents of tribute was Senator Abdullahi who said the death of Senator Longjan had sent the upper chamber into deep mourning.

“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, Plateau South Senatorial District and all students, unions, associations and the National Assembly of the services of one of its best and finest political and diplomatic icon.”

Abdullahi further described the late Longjan as a patriotic, humble, peaceful and a great man of integrity.

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“He rose to the pinnacle of his career as a diplomat and politician by hard work and dedication to duty.”

Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, noted that the Red Chamber has again 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.

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”The holy book says there was a time for everyone. I believe this was his time. To the family, this death won’t take his name. He has made his mark. I urge the family to take heart and leave everything in the hands of God.”

Senate Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, said the immediate family of the late Senator should be comforted by the fact that the deceased ingrained himself in the hearts of the people.

“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.

“One lesson I have taken from him is the fact that what peace can’t offer, confusion can’t solve. He was always for the people. It is time for us to have some introspection and know that we really need that unity and peace. I urge the family to take solace in the good name he left behind.”

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.

Senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang, said that the deceased lived to see good, to do good and to advance the course of humanity.

He said that Longjan had exited “from our clime, a refined elder statesman, a man of peace who cultivated the culture of patience, resilience and honesty.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said Senator Longjan lived a life worthy of emulation.

“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.

“On the 10th of February, when Senator Gyang called me to inform me of the death of late Senator Longjan, I immediately placed a call to the Governor, because, during the illness of our colleague, we have been talking and comparing notes.

“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.

“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 any way 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.”

Other senators who condoled the deceased family included Senators Ibn Bala Na’Allah, Tanko Al-Makura, Gabriel Suswam, Opeyemi Bamidele among others.

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