Former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has mourned the passing of one of his predecessors in office, 2nd Republic Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas, whom he described as a true statesman and father-figure.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki condoled with the Wayas family, the people of Cross River State and Nigerians in general over the passing of the erstwhile Senate President, saying that Nigeria had lost one of its most illustrious sons.
“My prayers are with the Wayas family over the passing of Dr. Joseph Wayas, who was the President of the Senate while my father, Dr. Olusola Saraki, served as Senate Leader between 1979 and 1983.
“I remember when I was younger, whenever Oloye used to visit Dr. Wayas, or Dr. Wayas came to our home on visits, he always had a knack for wanting to ensure that everyone was carried along in the solutions to the problems of the day.
“During my time as Senate President, knowing fully well how closely he and my father worked, based on his experience, I consulted with him regularly on issues relating to the running of the Senate. He was a guest at a few of our anniversary events in the 8th Senate.
“This is why, today, as we mourn the passing of this great statesman, experienced legislator, and people-centered politician, I thank Almighty God and his family for sharing him with us. I also commiserate with the people of Cross River State over Dr. Wayas’s demise, and pray for strength for his family, friends, political associates, and supporters,” Saraki stated.
The Cross River-born politician, Dr. Joseph Wayas served as Nigeria’s third Senate President between 1979 and 1983. Before becoming the Senate President, he was a member of the Nigerian Constituent Assembly between 1977 and 1978.
In his later years, Wayas served as the Deputy Chairman of the 1994/1995 National Constitutional Conference Commission that was in charge of organizing the National Conference.