The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has commiserated with the family of Ignatius Longjan, the senator who died at a Turkish hospital in Abuja on Sunday after a brief illness.
Mr Lawan also condoled with the government and people of Plateau State over the sad loss of the senator who represented Plateau South Senatorial District until his death.
In a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President acknowledged the contributions of Mr Longjan both at the state and national levels as former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS), Kuru; former Chief of Staff at the Government House in Jos and Plateau State Deputy Governor between 2011 and 2019.
While he prayed to God to grant those he left behind the fortitude to bear the great loss, Mr Lawan said the Senate will miss the lawmaker who was Vice Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Tourism.
In a similar message, the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, expressed shock over the death of Mr Longjan.
Mr Lalong, in a statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, described as devastating, the death of the senator. He said the death is a huge loss, not only to his family, the people of Plateau South Senatorial District but the entire state because of his immense contributions to the development of the state and the nation.
“We have lost a man of honour and candour, who, in all his affairs, always put the interests of Plateau State first. His humility, humanity and wealth of wisdom were always at display when he weighed on any issue that concerns people. We will surely miss him,” he said.
The governor recalled how the former deputy governor served Plateau State “steadfastly and loyally from 2011 to 2015, and also played a significant role in ensuring political stability in the state all through the period of various security challenges that the state passed through.”
He equally recognised the enormous contributions of the deceased on the floor of the Senate where he “represented his people with so much passion and projected the interests of Plateau State and the nation in all his contributions.”
Mr Lalong, while sympathising with his immediate family, urged the people of Plateau State to accept the sad event as the will of God and pray for the repose of his soul.
Speaking in the same vein, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, said the late lawmaker lived a productive life, represented the people of Plateau South Senatorial District with unalloyed faithfulness, was a loyal member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a patriotic citizen to the very end.
In a statement by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, Mr Omo-Agege expressed regret that his death was coming so soon after the death of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, who represented Imo North Senatorial District, in December last year.
He commiserated with members of Mr Longjan’s family and the people of Plateau South Senatorial District over the transition of “a highly experienced and very patriotic citizen.”
“Senator Longjan climbed the political ladder by dint of hard work and conscientious representation, becoming Chief Of Staff at Government House, Jos from June 1, 2007 to May 29, 2011 and Deputy Governor of Plateau State from 29th May, 2011 to 29th May, 2015.
“In recognition of his nationalistic disposition, the Federal Government appointed him as Chairman of Board of Governors at the National Institute for Policy & Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos in 2019 and thereafter, his people elected him as Senator,” he said.
He also prayed that God Almighty grant his soul eternal repose and comfort the family he left behind.
On his part, Kaduna senator, Uba Sani, mourned his colleague whom he described as a patriotic Nigerian whose contributions to national development cannot be ignored.
Mr Sani, on his official twitter handle, extended his deepest and sincerest condolences to the late lawmaker’s family, the Senate, APC, Plateau State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is even as he prayed that God gives his family the strength to bear the irreparable loss.
Until his death, Mr Longjan, 75, was the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism.
Prior to his election as senator, he was a former deputy governor of Plateau State between 2011 and 2015. He replaced Jeremiah Useni of the Peoples Democratic Party who contested for the governorship seat in 2019.
His death comes barely two months after Imo senator, Ben Uwajumogwu, died.