Former Senate President Joseph Wayas has died in a London hospital, aged 80.
Wayas presided over the senate in the Second Republic.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has mourned the loss of Wayas, an indigene of the state.
In a statement Christian Ita, his media aide, issued on his behalf, Ayade described the death as a “monumental loss”.
“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.”
“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 statement read
To the family of the deceased, Ayade said, “We are with you in this moment of grief. We have you in our hearts and prayers.”