Joseph Wayas, a former President of the Senate in the Second Republic, has died in a London hospital at the age of 80.
Wayas served as Nigeria’s senate president between 1979 and 1983.
His demise was announced in a statement by the special adviser to the Cross River governor on media and publicity, Christian Ita.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River was quoted as saying Wayas’ death is a “monumental loss” to the state and Nigeria.
The governor said Wayas left “indelible footprints on the sands of time”.
“As a state, Cross River is in pains as we mourn the passing of our illustrious son. He was a rare gem. Dr Wayas’ demise is indeed a monumental loss to our dear state and Nigeria,” Ayade was quoted as saying.
“As Senate President, Dr Wayas contributed to the deepening of Nigeria’s democratic ethos through his robust and vibrant leadership of the upper legislative chamber.
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“And since his retirement from active politics, the former Senate President had been playing a fatherly and stabilising role in the politics and affairs of our state.”
The governor condoled with the family of Wayas and said his death is a “collective loss and the pains a shared one”.
“We are with you in this moment of grief. We have you in our hearts and prayers,” he said.