Former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has described the demise of one of his predecessors; Dr. Joseph Wayas as a sad end of an era.
Wayas reportedly died Thursday. He was the Second Republic President of the Senate during the administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983. Dr. Alex Ekwueme was the Vice President while Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke was the Speaker, House of Representatives.
The death of Dr Wayas indicated that most of the key players of that era have gone to the great beyond. He was the 4th President of the Nigerian Senate.
In his tribute on the transition of Dr Wayas, Senator Mark described him as a flamboyant, vibrant and distinguished parliamentarian who left his positive footprints in the sand of time.
Senator Mark paid glowing tribute to Dr Wayas for his invaluable contributions especially his solid foundation for democracy and the legislature in Nigeria.
He said:” Senator Wayas was a great nationalist. He was a parliamentarian per excellence. His diligence, honesty and uncommon dedication to the ideals of nationhood remains reference points.
“He brought dignity and respect to the legislature by adhering to the rule of law, separation of power and collaborating with the executive arm of government without compromising the independence of the legislature”.
Senator Mark recalled the wise counsel he received from Dr Wayas while in office as the President of the Senate, adding, “Wayas was always handy anytime we had some knotty issues in the Senate. He called and visited regularly to see how we were fairing.”
His death at this time is a loss to the nation especially the legislature because “We shall miss his wise counsel and honest contributions to the issues and welfare of Nigerians.”
Senator Mark canvassed that the federal government immortalizes Wayas in recognition of his contributions to national development.
He prayed that God grants the deceased eternal rest.
Also in his condolence message, former Governor of Enugu state, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani described the death of Second Republic President of the Senate, Senator Joseph Wayas as a huge loss to the nation especially the political class.
Reacting to the demise of the elder statesman, Sen Nnamani who represents Enugu East in the Senate noted that Dr. Wayas was a pathfinder who believed in the sanctity of the ballot as a vehicle for electing leaders at all levels.
The former Governor recalled that as President of the Senate, Dr Wayas demonstrated competence, character and discipline in running the affairs of the upper legislative chamber and by extension the National Assembly.
He noted the honest and robust contributions of Dr. Wayas not just to the legislature but in the overall development of the nation.
Sen Nnamani added that Dr. Wayas was one of the best and fertile minds that presided over the Nigerian Senate, saying “ We have lost a patriot and committed democrat who took the entire country as his constituency”.
He stated that Dr Wayas believed in a fair and just society where no citizen is impeded or inhibited from pursuing his or her legitimate ambition on account of religion, ethnic or tribal leaning.
Sen Nnamani hopes that the slogan of one Nigeria, one destiny and brotherhood no matter the differences in tongue which Dr Wayas espoused during his lifetime would be the guiding light for the present and future generation of Nigerians.
He prayed that God in His infinite mercies grants Dr. Wayas eternal rest.