The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has described the late former Deputy President of the Senate, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, as a great nationalist who believed and worked for the oneness of an equitable and prosperous nation.
Ngige said this in his condolence message to the family of the late politician, government and people of Plateau State on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ngige said that Nigeria lost a detribalised politician whose contributions in the country’s political development perfectly fitted into a pan-national paradigm.
“I knew Ibrahim Mantu since the early 90s in Lagos when he was one of the leaders of the Liberal Convention, one of the political associations that later coalesced into the National Republican Convention.
“Years later in 1998 after the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mantu joined us from the All Progressives Party (APP) to assist late Solomon Lar who became the first National Chairman of the party.
”This is after late Dr Alex Ekwueme, the Chairman of the Steering Committee handed over to contest the party’s presidential ticket.
“Mantu made friends across the length and breadth of Nigeria and was home across tribes and religions; attributes that mould a multi-ethnic society like ours.
“The fact that he chose to remain in the Peoples Democratic Party under which he was twice elected Senator and Deputy Senate President, even after the PDP has been out of power at the Centre and in his native Plateau State for over six years, against the bandwagon wave of encampments,”he said.
He added that this shows in no uncertain terms, his inner thought and principled politics that provides fresh air for a viable democracy. Ibrahim Mantu proved this to the consternation of many.
”May God Almighty grant eternal rest to his soul and give comfort to the family he left behind,” he prayed.