A Tribute To Chief Solomon Daushep Lar – The Emancipator,By Aliyu Akwe Doma



LAROf all the challenges in human relationships, the inevitability of final parting as the common end, remains the most intriguing and regrettable. This stark reality is especially daunting when it affects endearing memories of an exemplary relationship with an outstanding mentor and leader. It is in this context that I find myself having to bid the ultimate farewell with this tribute to Chief (Dr) Solomon Daushep Lar, CON, LLD, Walin Langtang; my leader and political mentor.
As with all great men whose life and times touched the lives of so many in positive ways, there can be no dearth of tributes and commemorative accolades for Chief Solomon Lar. For each and every tribute paid to this great Nigerian is a genuine testimony to the extent to which he strove to make his beneficial impact on people and institutions across the length and breadth of this nation.
I therefore humbly identify with all the passionate acknowledgements that have been registered in various ways to appreciate the life and leadership of Chief Solomon Lar; the teacher, the peoples lawyer, the public servant, the politician, the emancipator, the political leader.
In remembering Chief Solomon Daushep Lar, so many memorable events run through my mind which highlight the unique human virtues and sterling leadership qualities that God Almighty endowed him with and inspired him to bring to the fore in serving humanity. Solomon Lar was outstanding in character and remarkable in his relationship with people of all walks of life, including great leaders such as late Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa whose secretary he was. He also had a special interest in the plight of the commoners, particularly in uplifting them from their downtrodden and oppressed status. This saw him co-founding the nation’s Legal Aid Council as its first Secretary. Such enviable virtues as humility, patience, goodwill, compassion, generosity and fairness were gracefully exhibited in good faith wherever Chief Solomon Daushep Lar made his presence felt and all who came across him were awed to the point of admiration and loyalty. It was hardly surprising that he was at the forefront of the struggle for the restoration of democracy in the country after prolonged military rule. He emerged the popularly accepted leader and first National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
I was privileged to have the opportunity of knowing and working closely with Chief Solomon Daushep Lar and I am full of gratitude to Almighty Allah for this cherished and long standing association with the great Baba Lar, as we fondly called him. It was a most beneficial relationship for which I remain eternally indebted, particularly for his brotherly guidance, wise counsel and remarkable trust and confidence, culminating in his choice of my humble self as his deputy when he was deservedly elected Executive Governor of Plateau State.
It will be difficult and emotionally tasking for me to capture and convey the full extent of the positive impact Chief Solomon Lar had on my life and career as a public officer, a politician and a political leader. Suffice it to recall that this memorable relationship commenced when as a permanent secretary in the old Plateau State, I was approached by Chief Solomon Lar, who was then a prominent private lawyer, to mobilize support of the people of the then Southern Plateau, when he was being called upon to vie for the governorship of Plateau State. I embarked on consultation among the people of the area and obtained consensus on his suitability, on condition that when elected he would address the yearnings of our peoples for emancipation through self-actualization.
Chief Solomon Lar eventually won the governorship election and lived up to the expectations of our people. He kept to his promise by evolving a bold emancipation policy with the people of the Southern Plateau as major initial beneficiaries. It was a comprehensive policy that had political and economic dimensions in addition to facilitating greater participation in governance, especially for the oppressed people of the state who had for long been existing with dissatisfaction under their overlords. The anticipated gains of this policy were swiftly realized to the extent that some of our people emerged prominently to rub shoulders with their hitherto privileged counterparts. More Chiefdoms, Local Governments and District Areas were created to enable greater participation in governance as desired. The emancipation policy was a huge success that spread quickly across the state and later to other parts of the country, especially in the North.
The success of this policy was attributable to the commitment and determination of Chief Solomon Daushep Lar as Executive Governor and policy maker with my humble self as Head of the Implementation Team. This is the brief background to the popular movement for self-identity and actualization, which eventually culminated in the creation of the present day Nasarawa State.
At a more personal level also, I owe my political career and destined emergence as a politician and political leader to the unforgettable mentorship of Chief Solomon Lar. While the consultative process for the acceptance of Chief Solomon Daushep Lar’s candidature for the Plateau State governorship election was underway, I was persuaded by him to join politics and eventually became Deputy Governor. It was not an easy decision to make as a Permanent Secretary on the verge of moving from the state to the Federal civil service in similar capacity. The consensus and resolution of party leaders that I should be the Deputy governor was no less difficult to reject. This development saw me launching a political career during which I was re-elected for a second tenure that lasted till December 1983 military takeover.
The aspiration, exposure and opportunities which I benefited from under the political tutelage of Chief Solomon Lar stood me out as a political leader in due course, culminating in my emergence as democratically elected Executive Governor of Nasarawa State in 2007.
The great Solomon Daushep Lar will always be remembered as a rare breed of honest and sincere politician whose word was his bond. He dutifully kept the campaign promises he made. He was exceptionally accommodating and forgiving towards all and displayed the courage of conviction by taking responsibility for all actions of his government. Chief Solomon Lar was also selflessly generous and compassionate about the plight of the voiceless and upholding justice and fairness at all times. Indeed, he was a visionary and inspirational leader par excellence.
If he was such a good man and a worthy leader to all who came across him in various ways and at all levels, one can only imagine the grief and heart-rending remembrance that has gripped his family members, particularly his humble and dutiful wife, Professor Mary Lar, his children and the Tarok Community of which he was undoubtedly a great son and leader. To you all I send this condolence and tribute as a consoling gesture from a proud but bereaved brother and associate of your departed hero. Although he is no longer with us, his indelible legacies will surely keep his memorable life and times alive till the end of time.
With a heavy heart I say Adieu!: Chief (Dr) Solomon Daushep Lar, CON, LLD, Walin Langtang. Adieu! Na Mary Babban Gwamna. Adieu! Na Mary Gwamnan Gwamnoni. Adieu! Distinguished Statesman and Political Icon. Adieu! The Peoples Emancipator.
May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace, AMEN!
ALIYU AKWE DOMA, OON
(Madauchin Doma),
Former Executive Governor,
NASARAWA STATE

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