Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang Friday, renamed the State University after the late Chief Solomon Lar, regarded as the founding father of the old Plateau state, who passed on recently in the United States of America after a brief illness.
This is as Professor Jerry Gana described Lar as the Mandela of Nigeria, and said he would be greatly missed especially his belief in unity.
The Governor made the disclosure at the General Aviation Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, while receiving the large contingent of both government officials and families members who accompanied the corpse from the U.S.
As a mark of respect, Jang declared three days mourning in the honour of the late political icon beginning from Wednesday to Friday next week. In addition, the governor equally declared 13th of March every year as public holiday in the state as a mark of honour to the late politician.
He said: "We have all gathered today to receive baba back home because of what he means to Plateau and Nasarawa states, which he governed when the two states were one. That is why Nasarawa State is participating in this burial fully, Bauchi state is also participating in this burial fully.
“I want to take this opportunity to announce that and declaring three days of mourning from 11-13 December in Plateau State. I am also declaring the day of the burial, 13 of December, a work free day in Plateau state as Solomon Lar's Day.
"We have decided in Plateau state to honour baba in a special way and for this reason, I am renaming the Plateau state University ''Solomon Daushep Lar University."
In his remarks, the President, who was represented by Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), described Lar as a statesman and a legendary, who came and conquered, who brought peace to bear in the life of so many Nigerians.
''It is indeed a coincidence that we are receiving here a great man in the federal capital territory Abuja when another great African, President Nelson Mandela died.
It is not a usual coincidence because they have fought gallantly, they have brought emancipation but peacefully without violence. They brought reconciliation to the table.
Today, we are witnessing a South Africa that is free of rancour and division. Today we are celebrating a great man, who was the first Chairman of our party, which has grown from strength to strength."
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, described Lar as an icon of Nigeria who will be missed by all.
Tukur said: ''He was a great son of Nigeria, a light in the political island, and we will miss him greatly."