The Senate, yesterday, officially announced the demise of its member, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, who represented Imo North.
The suspension followed a motion by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, who formally notified members of the death of their colleague on Wednesday, and the need to observe the tradition of putting of plenary in honour of the deceased.
The Leader also moved a motion that the Senate should observe a minute silence as a mark of their last respect for their departed colleague, which request was equally approved.
Uwajumogu, who was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, was a cognate member of the Red Chamber.
The Senate Leader, in his motion, also asked the Senate to suspend Rule 13 of the Senate Standing Order in order to finish its businesses before the legislators embarked on Christmas and New Year break.
Anchoring his motion on Order ’43’, Abdullahi hinted his colleagues that the late Uwajumogu died at the age of 51.
While notifying the Senate on the death, the leader said “Mr. President, with your kind permission, I rise to announce the death of Senator Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu who passed on to the great beyond yesterday (Wednesday) the 18th day of December, 2019. It is a very sad day for the entire Senate.
“He was 51 years’ old which means that I am 17 years older than him. So, you can see the kind of loss Nigeria suffered. He was one time speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, a Senator per excellence in whom we share and went through a lot in the 8th Senate.
“He made all contributions you people are all aware of. But here we are today. Mr. President, it was a loss that has shocked all of us. May the God Almighty grant his soul eternal rest and also take care of those he left behind.
“Uwajumogu was our chairman, employment and labour committee. And going by our tradition and convention, Mr. President, Distinguished colleagues, I will like to move three motions. First, for the Senate to observe one minute silence in honour of this our great colleague.”
The Senate Minority leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, who supported the motion, said Benjamin Uwajumogu was a good man, adding that death would never take away his name from the Senate.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who put the motion to vote and all prayers were approved, said while signing the condolence register that Uwajumogu’s death was not just for the Senate but Nigeria at large.
“To lose such a person is a monumental and fundamental loss to the Senate. Nigeria has lost a great man and his constituency would definitely feel the loss.
“This is a huge loss not only to the 9th Senate but to the entire country. The late Senator Benjamin was one time speaker of Imo State House of Assembly; he was a returning senator, very resourceful, very patriotic, very deep, and quintessential legislator,” Lawan said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate later led a delegation of the Senate to the Abuja home of Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.
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 on the occasion, Lawan said that the Senate would protect the ideals of late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu 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.