There have been heightened concerns over the continued detention of the remains of the Third Republic Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas in a morgue in London. He died about two years ago, but neither his family, the Cross River State government nor the Nigerian senate have been able to bring his body back to Nigeria for burial.
Now, the Basang Nation, a collection of clans in Obanliku LGA of Cross River State where former Senate President, late Dr Joseph Wayas hailed is waiting for the new Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to intervene.
It is not yet clear how Akpabio will respond to this. But Wayas’ kinsmen seem to be putting their hope on Akpabio, a south south son, just like Wayas, as they expect him to facilitate the burial of the former number three citizen of the country.
Last week, they wrote to Akpabio, drawing his attention to the abandonment of the corpse of the former senate president in a London hospital mortuary.
Wayas died in a London hospital at 80 years in November 2021 after a protracted illness, running close to two years.
President of the Basang Nation and leader of the 8th Executive council of Basang Development union, Sylvanus Anyawho signed the letter, in the letter said the consolation of Wayas’s immediate family and that of the community was that as a successor to the late senator from the south South region, “we have no doubt that you will immediately put machinery in motion to evacuate his remains home for burial.
“Senate President Sir, following our persistent call on Government to intervene in the burial arrangements of our leader, and son, sequel to the abandonment of his remains in a UK hospital, the senators representing the three senatorial districts in Cross River State, on the 4th of April, 2023 sponsored a motion in the floor of the Senate advocating for the intervention of Government in the burial arrangements.”
“Senate president sir, recall that senator Dr. Joseph Wayas was just commencing a second term in office when he was ousted by the military junta. He made promises to his community and constituency.
“It will take the community a long time to have his replacement, just like it took the entire South South zone forty years to have you replace him as Senate President.
“Therefore, our position and agitation is that Dr. Wayas, former senate president from 1979-1983 should be immortalized with projects that will be beneficial to his immediate family, his community and the senatorial district.”