President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Nasir Mantu, saying the deceased dedicated most of his life to the service of his people.
A family source said Senator Mantu died in the early hours of Tuesday.
Mantu’s personal secretary, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, who is also a nephew to the deceased, confirmed the death.
“He had been in hospital for the past one week in Abuja. He died at about 3 o’clock in the night,” Zaharaddeen said.
The aide said the deceased “left behind his wife, his four children- two females and two males- Zahra, Zuwaira, Musa and Umar.”
The funeral prayer of the late elder statesman held at the Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque Abuja, and had since been buried in accordance with Islamic rites.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has joined the government and people of Plateau state in mourning the passing of the renowned politician.
He also commiserated with the leaders and members of the National Assembly, friends and political associates of the former lawmaker.
The president prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed, believing his legacy of reconciliation and promotion of peaceful co-existence would always be remembered, especially in bringing more harmony to his state and the country at large.
He will be sorely missed –Atiku
Similarly, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock over Mantu’s demise.
In a statement issued by his media office in Abuja Tuesday, Abubakar said his association with Mantu dates back to the era of military-guided political transition programmes
“The former Vice President noted that while he was in the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mantu was a leading political light in the National Republican Convention (NRC).
He said Mantu, who until his passing away, was a member of the PDP NEC, “was a friendly soul who loved Nigeria and promoted national unity.”
“The Waziri Adamawa said that as Vice President following the restoration of democratic rule, he worked together with Mantu, who was then the Deputy Senate President and others to stabilise the nascent democracy within 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 alluded to Mantu’s dogged and tenacious spirit which he said was instrumental in lifting him from humble beginnings to a life of statesmanship.
“He noted that as a senator representing Plateau Central and a Deputy Senate President, Mantu saw his responsibility as going beyond the Plateau and the Senate chambers to the level of a nationalist who thought of Nigeria first.
“He said that Nigeria will miss Senator Mantu ‘s political experiences which spanned over four decades.
“Atiku Abubakar prayed to Allah to forgive Ibrahim Mantu’s sins, console the family he left behind, the government and people of Plateau State and the Senate which he served with distinction,” the statement said.
A dazzling political mobiliser gone -PDP
Also, the PDP in statement Tuesday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said it is “devastated and inconsolable over this huge tragedy which has befallen not only the party but the entire nation, Nigeria.”
It said: “Senator Mantu was a highly resourceful leader, an excellent lawmaker, exemplary democrat and dazzling political mobiliser, a very humble and detribalised statesman, who spent his life in innumerable sacrifices towards the unity, stability and economic development of our dear fatherland.”
The PDP recalled “the incalculable contributions by Senator Mantu, who brought his love for the nation as well as his skills to bear in the Senate where he served as chairman, Senate Committee on Information as well as the Deputy Senate President.”
“As the Deputy Senate President, Senator Mantu played key roles in stabilising the Senate for greater legislative productivity. His political dexterity as the chairman of Joint National Assembly Constitution Review Committee from 2001 to 2003 and from 2003 to 2007, laid the strong foundation for successful reviews of the constitution to reflect the aspirations of Nigerians.
“Senator Mantu was a pillar in the PDP and our party will never forget his sacrifices to ensure the success and growth of the PDP at all levels.
Above all, Senator Mantu was a good man, a God-fearing soul, who spared nothing in ensuring the wellbeing of others above personal pursuits.
“Senator Mantu’s death is indeed a big blow to our party, but we draw solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and made impart (sic) in his calling as a patriot.
“Given that the PDP grieves at this moment, the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) earlier slated for today, Tuesday, August 17, 2021, has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, August 18, 2021, in honour of Senator Mantu.
“Our party commiserates with the Mantu family, the PDP fold in Plateau state, the people of Plateau central as well as the entire state. The PDP also prays to God to grant eternal rest to the faithful departed and to the bereaved, the fortitude to bear this huge loss,” the statement said.