Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River on Thursday in Calabar expressed regret at the death of Second Republic Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas.
He described the death as “a monumental loss’’ to Cross River in particular and to Nigeria in general.
Mr Wayas died in the early hours of Tuesday at a London hospital at the age of 80 years. He was born on May 21, 1941.
He was Nigeria’s senate president in the Second Republic between 1979 and 1983.
Mr Ayade’s spokesman, Christian Ita, said in a statement that the governor remarked that Mr Wayas left indelible footprints on the sands of time.
“As a state, Cross River is in pain as we mourn the passing of our illustrious son. He was a rare gem. The demise of Dr Wayas 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.
“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 statement read.
Mr Ayade condoled with the Wayas family, assuring that his demise was a collective loss and the pains a shared one.
“We are with you in this moment of grief. We have you in our hearts and prayers,’’ the government assured the deceased family.