Senate President Ahmad Lawan has commiserated with the family, friends and political associates of former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, who passed on in the early hours of Tuesday at the age of 74.
Lawan, in a statement by his media aide Ola Awoniyi, said the late Mantu had a brilliant political career, which he capped with the quality representation he provided his constituents as a senator.
“As Deputy Senate President, Mantu played the role with great energy and finesse, which earned him the respect and admiration of his colleague Distinguished Senators.
“The former Deputy Senate President lived a life of service to his people and to the entire nation. He left his imprints at the Senate, having served creditably well in his days at the Upper Chamber,” Lawan said.
Also, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege saluted Mantu’s patriotism and commitment to building a viral legislature.
In a statement by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, the Delta Central lawmaker stressed that Mantu’s insightful contributions at the floor of the Senate would be fondly remembered.
A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu described the late Mantu as a legislative icon.
Ekweremadu said Mantu helped to shape the legislature in the current republic and also laid the foundation for the eventual successful amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
In a statement by his media adviser, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu, who succeeded Mantu as Deputy President of the Senate in June 2007, said: “Although no successful amendment was recorded in the Fifth National Assembly under him, obviously due to lack of template of procedure and experience by a National Assembly that was just truly re-emerging after decades of military rule, the challenges encountered by that attempt ably chaired by Distinguished Senator Mantu helped us to chart a procedure, avoid some pitfalls, and ultimately break the jinx in the Sixth National Assembly. Since then, we have gone on to record many critical amendments especially in the areas of electoral reform and institutions building to deepen and strengthen our democracy”.
What we’ll miss in Mantu – Nguroje
A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Babangida Nguroje, has described Mantu as a political colossus, whose demise remained a great loss to the people of Plateau and Nigeria at large.
Nguroje, who is the Chairman, Governing Board, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), in a condolence message, expressed shock that Senator Mantu left the scene at a time his counsel and fatherly roles were most needed.
“The late Mantu has left an indelible mark on the sands of history, giving his parliamentary activities and political sagacity. Mantu was an encyclopaedia and a tour de force in the political journey of Nigeria.
“The passage of this astute politician and elder statesman is one that has created a huge gap within the political circles and will be difficult to fill in a hurry,” he said.
The NIPC board chairman commiserated with the people of Plateau, his immediate family, associates and Nigeria over this great loss and prayed the God Almighty forgives his sins and grant his soul eternal rest.
His stint as a senator
Mantu represented Plateau Central Senatorial District in the Fourth and Fifth Senate between 1999 and 2007.
While in the Senate, he served in various capacities including Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Deputy President of the Senate as well as Chairman, Joint National Assembly Constitution Review Committee.
Similarly, he chaired the Policy Analysis and Research Project (PARP), which metamorphosed into National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Amirul Hajj from 2005 to 2006 and also superintended the Palliative Consolidated Committee for Cushioning Measures.