Honourable Gyang James Fulani
By Seriki Adinoyi
“For the late Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Gyang James Fulani, the sun has set too soon; he was a good man, kind hearted, lover of everyone, and binding force that holds all the members of state House of Assembly together. He was a man of peace, and he died pursuing peace for his people”.
These were part of the encomiums poured on the late lawmaker, who was slain in Barkin Ladi, when he went to bury victims of terrorist attacks in the area, during a valedictory session held in his honour by the state House of Assembly Saturtday.
With tears running down the cheeks of his colleagues, they took turns to say few words on him. One thing was common with their description of Fulani; he was with every one of them either in their distress or when they rejoiced. They unanimously agreed that he had touched the lives of every one of them. And they therefore wondered why he should die so soon. “Why are good people taken, and the wicked left behind?”, they queried.
Present to pay their last respect to Fulani was the deputy governor of the State, Mr. Ignatius Longjan, who represented the state governor, Jonah Jang. Others were the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Shedrackv Best; commissioners in the state; former Speakers and members of the Assemly, representative of the Majority Leaders of the State Houses of Assembly across the country, and of course the family of the deceased. They all wept visibly as the remains of Fulani were taken away.
In an emotion-laden speech, the Speaker of the Assembly , Honourable John Clark Dabwan, said “It is true that there is time to be born and time to die. Death, of course, is the ultimate end of humanity. When death of this nature comes, one finds it difficult to understand and to comprehend; it leaves one with more questions than answers.”
Describing the day as a sad one, not only for the state but for the nation as a whole, Dabwan said “today we pay our last respect to a friend, a brother, an extraordinary legislator, a leader, and our Majority Leader. I dare say he held his position in the House as Majority Leader with distinction as he served as a binding force for us members, as a coordinator and as a true leader. He made interaction between the twenty-four representatives so easy irrespective of ethnic or party divides.”
He said of the many crises on the Plateau, Fulani constituency was the worst hit. “Week after week it was constant reports of senseless massacres of innocent people by terrorists, who would perpetrate mayhem and disappear into thin air. Day after day, week after week, the tear-filled voice of Gyang Fulani would be heard in these chambers calling for caution, and calling on the state and federal governments to heed to the cries of his people, whose homes are no longer safe for them”.
Recalling Fulani’s words during one of the plenary sessions, the Speaker said Fulani had said “My Speaker, it is good for us to document these observations we are making so that they would know that we are hurting. Our hearts bleed for the blood of innocent people flowing in the streets. It is good we say it here so that tomorrow when something happens, people we know that we have tried.”