… Buried amid tears
- Buhari, Saraki, Dogara, Ekweremadu mourn
Fred Itua, Abuja
Senator Ali Wakil representing Bauchi South in the upper legislative chamber is dead.
He died after slumping at his Gwarimpa residence in Abuja.
Senator Wakil was also buried yesterday at the Gudu District Cemetary in Abuja after Islamic rites were performed at the National Mosque with his colleagues in the Senate and other politicians in attendance.
Family sources confirmed to Sunday Sun that Wakil who until his death was the chairman of Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation, slumped on Saturday morning and was rushed to a nearby hospital in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja.
But he died before he could get emergency treatment.
The deceased, until his sudden demise, was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wakil was born in 1960 and was a native of Bauchi State.
He attended Lere Primary School in 1972, after which he proceeded to Government Secondary School Damaturu where he obtained his senior certificate.
He then proceeded to Bauchi College for Arts and Science in 1979.
For his university education, he attended Bayero University, Kano where he obtained a Bachelors degree in Arts in1982.
He also attended Nigerian Customs training school, Lagos in 1984 and the infantry centre and school, Jaji in 1991.
Wakil was also a retired Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
In 2015, he contested for the Bauchi South Senatorial seat and won on the platform of the APC.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said the death of Senator Wakil was “an incalculable loss to Nigeria’s democracy” because his “dedication to duty was remarkable and worthy of emulation.”
The president said that the death of the senator came as a great shock to him, adding that his dedication to duty would remain one of the greatest virtues for which the deceased would be remembered.
He prayed to Allah to bless the soul of the departed senator just he extended his condolences to his family, his colleagues in the National Assembly, as well as the government and people of Bauchi State.
Also the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has expressed deep sadness over the sudden death of Wakil.
Saraki in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late senator as a vibrant lawmaker and public servant who was passionate about his assignment and engagements in the Senate, especially his chairmanship of the Senate committee on Poverty Alleviation and other committees where he was a member.
“Mallam Ali Wakil is one lawmaker you can never be in doubt where he stands on a particular issue. He spoke his mind fearlessly.
“His contributions at plenary were always very incisive and rich. I find it difficult to acknowledge that he will not resume plenary with us next Tuesday.
“My heart goes out to his family, the 8th Senate and the government and people of Bauchi State over the loss of this conscientious and patriotic Nigerian. He shall be sorely missed,” Saraki said.
The Senate president has since visited the residence of the senator in Abuja where he commiserated with his immediate and extended family members.
Also the Deputy Senate President, Prof Ike Ekweremadu, has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Wakili, describing him as a diligent and courageous lawmaker.
He said: “I received with rude shock the news of the passing on of my friend, brother, colleague, and ally, Distinguished Senator Wakil Ali.
“Senator Wakil’s stint at the National Assembly has no doubt been cut short, but it was long enough to prove himself a forthright, patriotic, diligent, and courageous politician, who respected his conviction and loved his fatherland. He stood for what he believed was right and worked for the unity of Nigeria.
“It is indeed a grave, personal loss to me, the Senate, and the entire nation. He will live on in our hearts”.
Ekweremadu who stated this through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichukwu, prayed God to grant eternal rest to the soul of the late Senator and support his family, the good people of Bauchi State, and the nation with the fortitude to bear the loss.
Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described as devastating and heart breaking, the news of the death of Wakil. The Speaker, described the late Wakil as a personal friend, true brother and dependable ally.
“The death of Sen. Ali Wakil is a personal loss to me. I’m short of words to describe how devastated and heart broken I am over the passing away of this true friend, brother and confidant, with whom I had excellent brotherly relationship and association.
“We have indeed lost a distinguished parliamentarian, easy going and courageous person who had worked tirelessly both in the Senate chamber and outside to defend the interest of his constituents, Bauchi State and the downtrodden members of the society in the country at large.
“Within his short but eventful sojourn in the National Assembly, Sen. Wakil had distinguished himself with his characteristic display of patriotism, forthrightness and logical skills during debates and other legislative duties.
“We in Bauchi State and in particular, Bauchi South Senatorial District, have lost a worthy ambassador and a distinguished gentleman.
But we’ll take solace in the fact that his humanitarian services and other accomplishments will continue to be a source of inspiration to us all.
“Our deep condolences go to his immediate family, constituents, the people of Bauchi State and the nation atlarge over this irreparable loss,” Dogara said.