President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has expressed deep sadness over the demise of Senator Joseph Kennedy Waku.
73 years old Waku died after a brief illness, and represented Benue North West in the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 1999 and 2003.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the late Waku as a fearless and colourful politician who spent the most productive period of his life in the service of God, country and humanity.
Saraki said: “Senator Waku was a democrat and social activist. He cared so much about his people. He spoke truth to power not minding political correctness. He worked assiduously for the upliftment of his state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“His leadership role in the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), marked him out as a consummate politician with the welfare of his country at heart.
“As a Senator, he contributed immensely to the nation’s legislative development. His incisive interventions bear testimony to his rich experience, intellectual depth and urbane personality.
“He was a voice to the voiceless. We shall miss him dearly,” Saraki stated.
The Senate President also commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased and the Government and people of Benue State over the sad and irreparable loss.
He prayed God to grant the soul of Senator Waku eternal peace and his loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, lamented over the demise of Senator Joseph Kennedy Waku.
Reacting to the demise of Senator Waku in Abuja today, Senator Mark recalled the contributions of Waku to the socio-economic and political development of Benue state adding “he was a foremost stakeholder in Benue Politics”.
Senator Mark noted that Waku was a patriotic Nigeria who called a spade its rightful name no matter whose ox was gored. “He stood for the truth at all times. He never pretended. He was brutally frank”, Mark said.
He recalled the exploits of Waku in the Senate during his stint in the Upper Legislative chamber saying that the late lawmaker never compromised on welfare and well being of the oppressed.
The former Senate President noted that Waku was a fearless parliamentarian who was a voice for the voiceless in the society.
According to Mark: “His death at this time is devastating”. His wealth of experience would have been handy in resolving the many knotty political problems confronting the nation at the moment.
“I have lost a dependable brother and friend. Benue state and indeed Nigeria have lost an unrepentant patriot and democrat. We shall miss Waku for his steadfastness, humour and pragmatism”.