proceedings of the Nigerian Senate of Wednesday, 26th February, 2020


Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:28am.

Senator Smart Adeyemi‬ ‪moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 25th February 2020. Senator Betty Apiafi seconded.‬

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‪Valedictory Session ‬
‪-That the Senate do pay tributes in honour of late Senator ‬Longjan Ignatius Datong‪ (Plateau South) (16th May, 1945 - 10th February, 2020) by Senate Leader.‬

‪Senate Leader moved that the Senate suspends Order 17 to allow the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Governor of Plateau State and his entourage, other dignitaries and the family members of late Senator Longjan Ignatius Datong into the Chamber. Minority Leader seconded.‬

‪Senators paid tributes in honour of late Senator ‬Longjan Ignatius Datong.

‪Senate Leader read the biography of late Senator ‬Longjan Ignatius Datong.

“Yet again we are losing another good man. The question we always ask is why are we losing the good ones? The wicked people in this country do not die, it is the good ones that go. Today we commiserate with the wife, the children and the people that he represented.”- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.

“When good people leave, you begin to wonder but of course you take solace in the fact that good people do leave good name. He was a peaceful person and always looking in the direction of how things can be done much more peacefully. We mourn Distinguished Senator Longjan but his good name will remain with us.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.

“Senator Ignatius cultivated a culture of patience, resilience and honesty. Senator Ignatius was selfless. He was one that would forego his personal interest for the good of others. This is a father to me, this is a mentor to me. This is a man whose life is characterized by loyalty and service to the nation. I commiserate with his family, the people of Plateau State and the entire Senate on his departure.”- Senator Istifanus Gyang.

“Let me on behalf of the people of FCT, condole with the family of Distinguished Senator Longjan. We take solace in the fact that someday we meet at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ where we meet to part no more.”- Senator Philip Aduda.

“He was a complete gentleman. He was an encyclopedia of wisdom but death is a necessary end.”- Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.

“Late Senator Ignatius was an epitome of loyalty. I am pleading with the children and the wife to live a life the Distinguished Senator lived. He was a selfless human.”- Senator Dimka Hezekiah.

“It is a sad day for the Senate and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Late Longjan lived a life of humanity and I think this is sufficient for the family to rely upon and take solace that late Longjan lived a good life. God does not abandon his people, it is a biblical thing that there is time for everything. Today being one of those sad days for us in the Senate for late Senator Longjan, we pray that his gentle soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.”- Senator Bala Na’allah.

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“He was a very loyal person, he was a man of integrity. I want to tell the wife, the children and the grandchildren that whenever we write the history of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the name of your husband will forever be recorded positively because he left his mark in the sands. On behalf of myself and the people of my Senatorial District, I wish to express and convey my deepest condolence to his family, the people of his Senatorial district and the people of his state.”- Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

“This is yet another reminder of the exit of everyone. There is time for everything and everyone. It is a reminder to everyone that we should put in our best to the service of our fatherland and service to humanity.”- Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

“A lot has been said about our colleague here. In spite of his age, most of the meetings of our Committee, he was always there waiting. Senator Longjan was a consummate gentleman. It is very sad that he has gone to meet our Lord. We loved him but the Lord loves him best.”- Senator Gabriel Suswam.

“Senator Longjan was a very calm, humble and jovial Senator.”- Senator Barau Jibrin.

“When good men die they will be remembered by the life they lived. All of us have confirmed that Senator Longjan was a good man. To the children, when the saints are called, your father will be there. We are not mourning him, we are celebrating him.“- Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

“I rise to join my Distinguished colleagues in extending our condolence messages to the family of Senator Longjan. Senator Longjan had lived a very useful life. His records would continue to speak for him. I therefore call upon the family to remain very good ambassadors of our friend and brother Longjan. Let people see in you the tributes of what he lived for.”- Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.

“I dare say that Borno Central is the ancestral homeland of late Senator Longjan. I join our colleagues in paying tributes to an elder statesman. A life spent in service to God and humanity. Late Senator Longjan was an epitome of humanity and an apostle of peace. On behalf of the good people of Borno Central, I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, government and people of Plateau State. We are not mourning Senator Longjan, we are celebrating his life.”- Senator Kashim Shettima.

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“It is yet another sad day that we have to suspend plenary and activities of this Chamber to mourn one of our own. If there is a University of Humility, late Senator Longjan would have been a Professor of Humility. I have come to agree that death is inevitable. Rather than mourn, let us celebrate him. Let us learn to transit because life will come to an end one day. Let us learn to embrace people like Longjan. May we be remembered for something good. We salute Longjan as a man who has displayed humility. When there is tension, he brings peace.”- Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“I rise to support my colleagues who have spoken earlier to celebrate a great Nigerian who has served in this Chamber. I am celebrating this life, I see a man of honour and great respect. He is a man we should be proud of. On behalf of the people of Lagos Central, we want to offer our condolences to you.”- Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

“On behalf of my family and my Senatorial district I commiserate with the family and the people of Plateau State. We must continue to thank God because this man was born 75 years ago with other people but some never witnessed their first year birthday. He served as an Ambassador in almost all the embassies around the world, Which of the blessings of the Lord are we going to deny? On this note, we should continue thanking God.”- Senator Bayo Osinowo.

“It is important for us not to allow the legacy that he has left behind to be in vain. It is cumbersome for us as his colleagues to make sure that his legacy of peace and serving his people continue with us. It is important also to prepare for the day of our reckoning.”- Senator Binos Yaroe.

“All of us who spoke about our late colleague spoke of who he was and that was because he was who he was. He was everything and yet he acted like he was nobody. It is established today that his action in humility did not in anyway place him in any disadvantage. There is also a lesson for us here, what do we want to be remembered for? We all want to be remembered for being good. This is another sad moment for all of us holding valedictory. For our Distinguished colleagues, it is always a reminder of death. Yes we can pray and I think what we need to pray for more is when we die we should be remembered for doing good things.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

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“Our colleague passed on at the age of 75 leaving behind great legacies of hard work and love of our fatherland. For our colleague to achieved what he did he must have something special. That was because he was a reliable and trustworthy person, someone who was tolerant of others, otherwise he could not have climbed through all this ladder to the point he was elected Senator. The first time I met him, he proved to be someone that could easily be a friend and accommodate. We strike some bond very fast. I do not think there is any Senator here who had any issue or disagreement with our late colleague. He was not the typical politician that could be bitter and sweet.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

“His was always sweet. This is an emotional moment for us. We should continue to pray for our late colleague, this is what he needs from us. He was lucky, he had a fruitful life. What is of utmost importance is how well that person lived as a human being. Our late colleague lived a decent life, very peaceful man. The array of people here from Plateau State tells the story of what he was to them. He was one of the elders of the Senate. Please the family should accept the condolence of the entire Senate and to the people of Plateau State, we say accept our condolences and may his soul rest in perfect peace.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

Senate resolved to:

  1. Offer prayers for the repose of the soul of late Senator Longjan Ignatius Datong;
  2. Observe a minute silence in his honour;
  3. Send a condolence message to the family, government and people of Plateau State;
  4. Send a delegation to be led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON to the burial of the late Distinguished Senator; and
  5. Proceed for the procession to pay last respect to our departed colleague and return to the Chamber.

Senator Istifanus Gyang said the prayer.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy Governor of Plateau State and his entourage, other dignitaries and the family members of late Senator Longjan Ignatius Datong left the Chamber.

Senate Leader moved that plenary be adjourned to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary is adjourned to Thursday, 27th February, 2020.

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