Chuks Okocha and Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, thursday led a delegation of the Senate to the Abuja home of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, who died on Wednesday.
The delegation, which included the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, and some other principal officers of the Senate, condoled with the wife of the late Senator, Helen Uwajumogu, and other family members.
Speaking at the occasion, Lawan said the Senate would protect the ideals of late Senator which he stood for during his stint as lawmaker, representing Imo North Senatorial district at the National Assembly.
“We represent Nigerians. The responsibility of ensuring that our people are protected, supported and promoted will continue to be our guiding light and ideal, because this is something that he worked very hard for and believed in.
“This delegation is a delegation from the Senate, and I want to assure this family that we will be in this grief with you, and when you arrange for the funeral, please let us be informed of the arrangements,” Lawan said.
The Senate President added that all through Uwajumogu’s sojourn in the Senate, he remained committed to serving Nigerians and its citizens.
Lawan informed the family that the Senate would appoint one of its own to liaise with the family in making arrangements for the funeral of the deceased lawmaker.
The Senate President, while signing the condolence register at the family’s residence, wrote: “Our Distinguished Colleague and brother, you believed that, as Senators we should always protect our people.”
“We, your colleagues, will certainly remain focused on this ideal. We shall be alive to the task of protecting Nigerians wherever they are.
“Adieu, the quintessential legislator per excellence,” Lawan added.
Other members of the Senate leadership on the delegation include Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi; and Deputy Minority Whip, Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u.
Senators on the delegation are: Chairman, Senate Committee on Tourism, Rochas Okorocha; Chairman, Committee on Appropriations, Jibrin Barau; Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Aishatu Ahmed; and Abdulfatai Buhari.
Earlier, the Senate President, while speaking to correspondents at the National Assembly, moments after the upper chamber adjourned, described the death of the lawmaker on Wednesday as a huge loss to the National Assembly and Nigeria.
Lawan said Uwajumogu’s disposition as a resourceful and patriotic legislator would remain a guiding principle for all members of the upper chamber.
“This is a huge loss not only to the ninth Senate but to the entire country.
“The late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu was a one-time Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly. He was a returning Senator. This was his second tenure in the Senate, very resourceful, very patriotic, very deep.
“He was a quintessential legislator, and during his last contribution on Tuesday, the 17th of December, when we debated the problems that Nigerian businesses are facing in Ghana, he made a very categorical statement.
“That statement was that we must at all time as Senators protect the interest of Nigeria, we must support Nigerians wherever they will be in this world.
“That was very instructive, and for us in the ninth Senate, this will continue to be one of the guiding principles of all that we do to always ensure that we protect Nigerians wherever they are, both within the country and outside, and promote the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“The late Distinguished Senator Ben was our Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour and Employment. He gave a very good account of himself as the Chairman of that committee during the labour disagreements.
“He was at hand to intervene on behalf of the Senate, therefore, to lose such a person is a monumental loss to us in the Senate, but I think Nigeria has lost a great man.
“Of course, his constituents will definitely feel the loss, but I think we are all united on one thing that what he lived for, we must ensure that we protect those ideals that he worked for,” the Senate President said.
In a related development, the Senate in accordance with its tradition adjourned plenary till today (December 20).
The adjournment followed a one-minute silence by the upper chamber in honour of the deceased.
Accordingly, the Senate unanimously resolved to suspend Rule 13 of the Senate Standing Orders to allow lawmakers sit today, a day outside the conventional plenary days (Tuesday to Thursday).