- Nigeria has lost one of its prominent politicians, Joseph Wayas, a former president of the Senate who hailed from Cross River state
- Wayas, according to the Cross River state government, died in a London hospital on Tuesday, November 30
- Reacting to the death, Governor Ayade said Cross River is in pains as the state mourns the passing of an illustrious son
Calabar, Cross River state - Joseph Wayas, a former president of the Senate in the Second Republic, has died at the age of 80.
The governor of Cross River state, Ben Ayade, made this known via a Facebook post on Thursday, December 2.
Governor Ayade described Wayas' death as "a monumental loss" to Cross River state and Nigeria.
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"I received with profound sense of loss and shock, the sad news of the death of Former President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Joseph Wayas.
"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.
"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."
Ayade also noted that the late former Senate president had been playing a fatherly role and helping in stabilising the political affairs of the state.
"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.
"I condole with Dr Wayas’ family. His demise is a collective loss and the pains a shared one."
According to Christian Ita, Governor Ayade's special adviser on media and publicity, Wayas died in the early hours of Tuesday, November 30, in a London hospital, The Cable reported.
Wayas, born May 21, 1941, served as Nigeria’s senate president between 1979 and 1983.
Nigerians express condolence
Agabi Gabriel said:
"Your legacies will never be forgotten soon even as you rise from no were to before Nigeria third citizen. Adieu Wayas Nigeria! Wayas cross river!! Wayas Obanliku!!! Rest on papa."
Richard Adah said:
"God grant his soul eternal rest in his bosom. We all share in this great loss.."
Adams Anya said:
"May God console his family and grant him eternal rest."
Ulom Ajuzieogu said:
"May his gentle soul rest in peace. My condolences to the immediate family, the people and government of Cross River State in particular and Federal Government of Nigeria."
Jacob Akpong said:
"May his gentle soul rest in peace,may God grant us the fortitude to bear the loss."
Former governor dies on Independence Day
In a related development, Commodore Ibrahim Kefas (rtd), a former military administrator of Delta and Cross River, passed on on Friday, October 1.
Late Kefas who died at 73 years served as administrator under the military regime of late General Sani Abacha.
Kefas lost to the PDP's candidate, Danbaba Suntai, in Taraba state during the 2007 governorship election.