A former Nigerian senate president in the Second Republic Joseph Wayas on Thursday, December 2, died in a London hospital.
He died in a London hospital after a protracted illness. He was aged 80.
Joseph Wayas was born in Basang, Obudu, Cross River State on May 21, 1941.
He had his secondary school education at Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha before he went to the United Kingdom where he studied at the Higher Tottenham Technical College, London.
The former senate president also attended the West Bromwich College of Commerce, Science, and Technology, Birmingham, and Aston University, Birmingham.
He served as third Senate President in 1979 to 1983 before the region was truncated by a coup that installed the then General Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s head of state.
Joseph Wayas was a founding member of the now-defunct All People’s Party. He later joined the opposition People’s Democratic Party in 2002.
Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade announced the death of Joseph Wayas.
Ayade described Wayas’ death as “a monumental loss to Cross River State in particular and Nigeria as a whole”.
“As a state, Cross River is in pains as we mourn the passing of our illustrious son,” Ayade’s special adviser on media and publicity, Christian Ita, said.
“He was a rare gem. Dr Wayas’ demise is indeed a monumental loss to our dear state and Nigeria.”
According to the governor, “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.”
He condoled with Dr Wayas’ family, assuring them that his demise is a collective loss and the pains a shared one, adding, “we are with you in this moment of grief. We have you in our hearts and prayers” .