President Muhammadu Buhari, governors, senators and House of Representatives members yesterday mourned former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu.
The former Senate Deputy President between 2001 and 2007 reportedly died in an Abuja hospital on Monday evening.
He was 74.
His remains were laid to rest yesterday at the Gudu Cemetery in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Dignitaries at the brief Islamic funeral (Janazah) ceremony included former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, former Borno State governorship candidate, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, among others.
In a condolence message through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari commiserated with the people of Plateau State and the National Assembly, the two constituencies he served in his lifetime.
“President Buhari commiserates with leaders and members of the National Assembly, friends and political associates of the former Deputy Senate President, who dedicated most of his life to service of his people.
“The President prays for the repose of the soul of the departed, believing his legacy of reconciliation and promotion of peaceful co-existence will always be remembered, especially in bringing more harmony in his state and the country at large,” the statement said.
Also, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, former Senate President David Mark, Senate Deputy President Ovie Omo-Agege, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase, mourned the late Mantu.
He recalled that when he was Vice-President, he worked 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 said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan commiserated with the family of the deceased.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President said: “Mantu had a brilliant political career which he capped with the quality representation he provided the people of Plateau Central District as their two-term senator between 1999 and 2007.
“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.”
Mark expressed shock and sadness over the demise of Mantu, saying: “It is devastating and a loss to the political class.”
Omo-Agege also expressed shock and sadness over Mantu’s death.
Other eminent Nigerians who expressed shock at Mantu’s death and condoled with his family, state and former colleagues include Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, and former Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang.
Others include main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party’s Minority Caucus in the Senate, former FCT Minister, Gen. Jerry Useni and Plateau Central Senator Ayuba Dimka.