Ex-Senate President, Wayas is dead

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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 who died at a private hospital in London, United Kingdom (UK) had been receiving treatment since last year after the state government took interest in the treatment of the elder statesman.

Wayas had 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.

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According to Christian Ita, special adviser to the Cross River governor on media and publicity, Wayas died in the early hours of Tuesday in a London hospital.

“As a state, Cross River is in pain 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.

“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 of a shared one”.

“We are with you in this moment of grief. We have you in our hearts and prayers,” he said.