Abuja - The Senate in Abuja on Tuesday paid tribute to the late former South African President, Nelson Mandela, for a lifetime dedicated to the emancipation of the oppressed.
The senate observed one minute silence in his honour and resolved to send formal condolence to the people and the parliament of South Africa.
This was sequel to a motion brought by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, and unanimously supported by 107 others on the demise of the legendary anti-apartheid crusader.
Senators took turn to pay glowing tributes to Mandela for his contribution to the unity and prosperity of South Africa.
Ndoma-Egba observed that Mandela's government focused on dismantling the vestiges of apartheid through "tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation".
He described Mandela as the hero of the century who deserved all the recognition and eulogies being bestowed on him.
"Mandela will remain a reference point in the lessons of forgiveness for generations to come," he said.
Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP- Bauchi) said Mandela made a landmark difference in promotion of interracial relations among humanity.
"His preoccupation was the entire humanity. Mandela is in a class of saints who were sent by God to make a difference in the world."
Nkechi Nwaogu (PDP-Abia) said Mandela became a name that brought hope and aspiration to the entire black race.
Nwaogu urged African leaders to replicate the attributes of Mandela in the governance of their various countries.
Enyinnanya Abaribe (PDP-Abia) noted that the virtues of Mandela would only be replicated when leaders at all levels offered selfless service for the benefit of the people.
"With Mandela's example, each and everyone of us must think of Nigeria as one entity, then it would be possible to emulate him."
In his contribution, Adegbenga Kaka (APC-Ogun) attributed the dearth of leaders in mould of Mandela in Nigeria to the absence of individuals who were prepared to make a difference.
"We have men who could be like Mandela in this country but they lack the courage to push through their ideals."
Wilson Ake (PDP- Rivers) said: "He chose the spirit of humility, contentment, forgiveness and sacrifice. Our leaders should emulate him."
Abubakar Bagudu (PDP- Kebbi) urged African leaders to collectively resolve to focus on making life better for their people.
"African leaders, aspiring leaders and all of us here should demonstrate the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation in all our dealings," he advised.
Ayogu Eze (PDP-Enugu) said that Mandela showed that the "world will always be better off when we sit together and discuss how we can live together peacefully".
Also Helen Esuene (PDP- Akwa Ibom) observed that Mandela demonstrated that "we can rise above our trials and challenges to impact humanity".
Esuene also commended Winnie Mandela for the support she gave to the late African leader during their marriage, saying "this tribute will not be complete without the sacrifices made by his former wife, Winnie".
Kabiru Marafa (APC- Zamfara) said Mandela's demise called for celebrations because he lived a good life which impacted positively on humanity.
"I would rather rejoice and congratulate the people of South Africa and black people all over the world for the good life that Mandela lived."
The Senate President, David Mark, urged the generality of those in positions of leadership to deploy available resources for the good of the people.
Mark advised leaders to do things that would earn them the trust and confidence of the people.
"Quality and altruistic leadership will always generate followership because the people will promote the ideals of a benevolent leader and they are sure to believe in his ideology.
"There are so many things that Mandela has done that we can copy and replicate in our own little corner of the world, whether we are in leadership position or not."