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How Mantu helped stop Sao Tome & Principe govt change – Obasanjo

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Segun Ayinde, Abeokuta

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday expressed shock over the death of former deputy senate president, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, saying that he served the nation meritoriously.

Obasanjo made this known in a condolence letter to Mantu’s son, Musa Ibrahim Mantu on behalf of the family, noting the late lawmaker accorded his administration’s reform agenda between 1999 and 2007 the necessary value and unequivocal support.

The letter entitled “condolence message” and dated August 17, 2021, was contained in a press release made available by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.

The ex-president recalled Mantu’s role to terminate move by some over-ambitious elements to change government in Sao Tome and Principe in 2003, saying that he also used his role to engender stability, peace, growth and development in Nigeria.

The two-term civilian president said that the late lawmaker representing Plateau Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999-2007 would be remembered for his courageous and true service he used to exalt the nation as the deputy senate president.

Obasanjo, while expressing his condolence to the son and family of Mantu, urged them take consolation in knowing that he lived a fulfilled life and left behind a good name that they should all be proud of, adding that his friends at the senate and the entire people of the country would greatly miss him.

The letter reads “I was shocked to receive the sad news of unfortunate passing of your beloved patriarch, Senator (Dr.) Ibrahim Mantu, CFR.  Of course, there is the inevitable feeling of sorrow that grips us when a dearly loved one has ended life’s journey.

“However, as you intensely grieve over the demise of your dear father, be assured that there are many sympathisers like me who also feel profoundly touched by the sad event”.

“Senator Mantu served his country meritoriously, most notably as a lawmaker representing Plateau Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999-2007.”

“I must acknowledge the positive leadership and stabilising role he had used his exalted position to play in the affairs of our nation as the Deputy President of the Senate during my tenure as the President of Nigeria.” 

“He accorded my administration’s reform agenda his valued, unequivocal support. He used his God-given position to properly ground the democratic process and engender the stability, peace, growth and development of our fatherland, Nigeria, at the time.  He operated and conducted himself with courage, conviction, consistency and the fear of God. 

“It is also on record that Senator Mantu was part of my delegation that championed the termination of the unpalatable and criminal adventure of some over-ambitious elements in Sao Tome & Principe on July 16, 2003 with all efforts deployed to restore the country to democratic governance based on the principles of accountability, transparency, respect for human rights and the rule of law.  His was a life of great purpose, true service, and solid accomplishments.”

“I must also appreciate the way he saw me until his death. This he always expressed mostly in his writings to me and interactions with me: “great teacher, a father, a brother, an exemplary leader, a role model, a very good friend and someone in whom I totally believe in”, with strong affirmation of the positive impact my life and his association with me over the years have had upon him and his perspective on life.” 

“And in return, I presented myself to him as a confidant and someone he could rely absolutely upon to do the best for Nigeria and Nigerians and to work tirelessly to make Nigeria great both in and outside of public office.  His unfortunate passing is rather a sad moment for me.”

“No doubt, your late father will be sorely missed by those who knew him, particularly his colleagues in the Senate and surely by his State and his friends. Thus, as you mourn his demise, I would urge that you take consolation in knowing that he lived a fulfilled life and left behind a good name that you should all be proud of.”

“I extend my sincere condolences to you and Senator Mantu’s beautiful and constantly-supportive wife as well as the entire family at this trying period.  I pray that the Almighty God will grant you all the succour as well as the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.

“May his soul rest in perfect peace and may God console his family, friends and peers.” the letter added.

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