A former Senate President, Joseph Wayas, has been reported to have died after a protracted illness at the age of 80, barely 19 days after Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade, visited him in the hospital.
Wayas was said to have died at a private hospital in London, United Kingdom (UK) where he had been receiving treatment since last year after the state government took interest in the treatment of the elder statesman.
Before his death on Thursday, Wayas served as Nigeria’s third Senate President during the country’s second republic and was in office between 1979–1983.
Ayade announced the death of the former senate president at the State House in Calabar, the state capital, just as he commiserated with the family of the deceased former lawmaker.
The governor described the deceased as a father and democrat whose contribution to sustaining democratic values in the country would never be forgotten.
He said: “I received with a profound sense of loss and shock, the sad news of the death of the 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.
“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”.