Joseph Wayas, a former president of the Nigerian Senate has reportedly passed away.

Mr Wayas who served during the second republic from 1979 to 1983 died in London on Tuesday.

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State described the passing away of the Octogenarian as a monumental loss in a statement by Christian Ita, his special adviser on media and publicity.

“As a state, Cross River is in pains as we mourn the passing of our illustrious son. He was a rare gem,” the governor said. “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 governor condoled with the family of Wayas and said his death is 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,” he added.