Politicians and leaders alike have been asked to emulate the ideals which the late first civilian governor of the old Plateau state, Solomon Lar, stood for during his lifetime.
Some prominent personalities who were at the late politician’s home in Jos to commiserate with the family, praised his people-oriented policy while he was governor of the state.
Born in Pongaa, Langtang local government area of the state in April 1933, Solomon Lar studied at the Sudan United Mission Primary School in Langtang, and then at the Gindiri Teachers College where he qualified to teach at the Primary School, Langtang.
He was elected as a Councilor of the Langtang Natives Authority in January 1959 and to the Federal Parliament on 12 December 1959 on the platform of United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC).
He was re-elected in 1964, and from then until 15 January 1966, when General Yakubu Gowon took power in a coup, Lar was Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
He was also a Junior Minister in the Federal Ministry of Establishments.
Lar was a co-founder of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) in the 2nd Republic. He was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate in 1978, and later won the governorship election in Plateau state as the first Executive Governor on 1 October 1979.
A military tribunal set up by General Muhammed Buhari to try all former governors, sentenced Lar to 88 years in prison.
His case was reviewed and was released by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.
He was also appointed Minister of Police Affairs by the government of General Sani Abacha, but later resigned when he realized Abacha was not serious about restoring democracy.
He became first National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998, a position he held until 2002, when he handed over to Chief Barnabas Gemade.
In February 2004, he resigned as Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), handing over to Chief Tony Anenih at a caucus meeting in Abuja.
Lar supported former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, after he fell out with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and later supported Atiku’s bid for the Presidency in 2007.
In April 2006, Lar also welcomed the decision of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida to compete for President in the 2007 elections.
Chief Lar died at the age of eighty in a Maryland hospital, where he has been receiving treatment, the remains of the late politicians will arrive from the United States for his final interment.