The 80-year-old, who was the Senate President between 1979 and 1983, died on Tuesday morning at a hospital in London, after receiving medical attention for some time.
Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, who confirmed his death in a statement on Thursday, was quoted as saying Wayas’ passing is a “monumental loss” to the state and Nigeria.
In a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, Ayade said Dr Wayas left indelible footprints on the sands of time.
Ben Ayade Confirms Joseph Wayas’s Death
The statement reads, “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.
“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.”
Governor Ayade 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”
Joseph Wayas Biography
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.
Ways 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.
Wayas was a founding member of the now-defunct All People’s Party. He later joined the opposition People’s Democratic Party in 2002.
This comes barely one week after a former Senator and governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Gbenga Aluko passed away after slumping in his office in Abuja.