Wayas: C’River monarch laments ex-senate president’s delayed burial
A monarch, the traditional ruler of Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State, HRM Ernest Item, has lamented the embarrassment accorded him and his council over the delay and issues concerning the burial of the former Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas.
Wayas died in a London hospital over 15 months ago after a protracted illness.
Based on this, the paramount ruler held a meeting with the first son of the former Senate President, Mr Joseph Wayas jr, and the leaders of Basang community, where the former Senate President hailed from, to know the reason the burial persistently delayed.
It was gathered that the state government wade in his health situation when the former Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, was sent to manage his health in London.
It was said during the former Senate President ailment, the federal government had also sent medical support for about four months, according to the first son, Wayas jr.
However, Wayas eventually died and the state government constituted a funeral committee presided over by former Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation, Kanu Agabi, and former executive secretary of the National Planning Commission, Fidelis Ugbo as Secretary.
It was also gathered that Gov Ben Ayade released N200 million for the funeral, from where N100 million was disbursed to the family burial committee to enable them to offset the outstanding issues and fly the body back home.
This was said to have generated controversies over control and expenses of the fund. It led to the resignations of Agabi and Ugbo from the state funeral committee.
Wayas Jnr. Was alleged but he denied knowledge of the expenses and challenged those responsible for accountability.
It was learnt that during a phone conversation, the President of Basang Nation, Mr Sylvanus Anyawho, said the delay had become very humiliating.
“This accounts for the reason the Paramount ruler had to summoned us, including the first son, to a critical meeting a few days ago.
“The paramount ruler has decided to be personally involved in order to facilitate swift attention to the funeral.
“Joe Wayas Jr could not fly down from his base in Abuja to attend the meeting in the palace of the paramount ruler in Obanliku LGA due to his health issues. The paramount ruler understood and despatched a team to meet with him in Abuja where he took time to explain in details what transpired with the fund released by state government.”
He explained that Wayas jr would attend the next meeting scheduled to hold soon, either in Abuja or Calabar, after explaining that his health situation cannot withstand the long road journey from Calabar airport to Obanliku.
“It is at this meeting that we will know how much of the fund actually remains. We should be able to cross the tees and the I’s.
“After the meeting, we will proceed to meet with Governor Ben Ayade to brief him and plead for his understanding, so that we can bury the former number three man before expiration of his tenure in May 2023.”
He said the monarch has taken upon himself to address all issues to facilitate the burial before May 2023.