Mantu, a nationalist who thought Nigeria first – Atiku – Premium Times

Ibrahim Mantu
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock over the death of a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu.
Mr Mantu died on Tuesday at the age of 74.
Mr Abubakar, in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Tuesday in Abuja, said he received with shock and deep regrets the loss of Mr Mantu whom he described as a seasoned Nigerian politician.
He said that Mr Mantu, who until his passing away was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Council (NEC), “was a friendly soul who loved Nigeria and promoted national unity.”
The former vice president said his association with the late deputy senate president dated back to the era of military guided political transition programmes.
He noted that while he was in the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Mantu was a leading political light in the National Republican Convention (NRC).
Mr Abubakar said as vice president following the restoration of democratic rule, he worked together with Mr Mantu who was then the deputy senate president and others, to stabilise the nascent democracy during the first tenure of the Fourth Republic.
“Mantu was very central in the management of the frosty relationship between the executive and the legislature in those difficult years of learning the nuances of democratic practice,” he said.
He alluded to Mr Mantu’s dogged and tenacious spirit which he said was instrumental to lifting him from humble beginnings to a life of statesmanship.
Mr Abubakar noted that as a senator representing Plateau Central and deputy senate president, Mr Mantu saw his responsibility as going beyond Plateau and the senate chambers.
The former vice president said the deceased was a nationalist who thought of Nigeria first.
He said Nigeria would miss Mr Mantu’s political experiences which spanned over four decades.
Mr Abubakar prayed to Allah to forgive Mr Mantu’s sins, console the family he left behind, the government and people of Plateau as well as the Senate which he served with distinction.
Also, the incumbent Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC-Delta), expressed deep shock and sadness over the demise of the former lawmaker.
Mr Omo-Agege in a condolence message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja on Tuesday, saluted Mr Mantu’s patriotism and commitment to building a virile legislature.
He lauded Mr Mantu’s committed responses to the needs of his community as a two-term senator and his devotion to national development.
He also commended Mr Mantu’s insightful contributions at the floor of the Senate, saying that the deceased would be fondly remembered.

Mr Omo-Agege also condoled with the government and people of Plateau State as well as family and friends of the deceased.
The deputy senate president said: “Distinguished Senator Ibrahim Mantu served the Fourth and Fifth Senate between 1999 and 2007 with compassion and diligence.
“He served the Senate in various capacities including Chairman, Senate Committee on Information; Deputy President of the Senate; as well as Chairman, Joint National Assembly Constitution Review Committee.”
He noted that the deceased chaired the Policy Analysis and Research Project (PARP) which metamorphosed into the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
Mr Omo-Agege further recalled that Mr Mantu was Amirul Hajj from 2005 to 2006 and also superintended the Palliative Consolidated Committee for Cushioning Measures.
A former governor of Plateau, Jonah Jang, said the love late Mr Mantu had for his people and Plateau will remain indelible in the history of the state.
Mr Jang said this in his reaction to the demise of the elder statesman who died in the early hours of Tuesday at the age of 74.
The former governor said the deceased was a peacemaker and a true Plateau patriot throughout his life.
He said: “I received with deep sense of sorrow, the passing of my brother, former Deputy Senate President, Senator (Dr) Ibrahim Mantu.
“Late Mantu was a brave and courageous Plateau elder statesman who stuck in neck for the interest, growth of the state, not only during his reign as Deputy President of the Senate but throughout his entire political career.
“He distinguished himself in politics such that he became a household name whenever the politics of Plateau and Nigeria was a subject of discussion.

“He is reputed to have stood for and supported any Plateau man who aspired for anything at the national level.
“His love for the state and for his people will remain indelible in the history of our dear state,” he said.
Mr Jang, also a former senator, described Mr Mantu as a very loyal, dedicated and committed party man who remained in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) until his demise.
He said that at a time where it was the practice to leave one party for the other to satisfy inordinate political ambitions, Mr Mantu remained a one party man.
According to him, Mr Mantu had shown that ambition does not override loyalty and commitment to the ideals and tenets that one should hold dear, even in the face of loss of political power.
“The late senator had risen to greater heights in his political career, yet, was an embodiment of humility, a devout Muslim, community leader and a father to many.
“His enormous contributions to the development of his people, Plateau and the nation at large will forever be cherished and remembered.
“He lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation and the vacuum he left behind will be difficult to fill, not just in Pyem land, Plateau but the nation at large.
“On behalf of my family and those who worked closely with him and benefitted from his magnanimity and camaraderie, I pray that the Almighty God grants him eternal rest,” he said.
Mr Jang also prayed to God to give the entire family the courage and fortitude to bear the irreparable and painful loss.
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