President Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of Sen. Ali Wakil from Bauchi State as “an incalculable’ loss to Nigeria’s democracy.
The President in a condolence message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday, said that the death of the senator came as a great shock to him.
President Buhari observed that late Wakil’s dedication to duty would remain one of the greatest virtues for which he would be remembered.
“The passion for duty was one of the finest qualities of late Senator Wakil,’’ he added.
He, therefore, urged other democratically elected leaders to borrow a leaf from the deceased’s record of dedication.
While praying to Allah to bless the soul of the departed senator, President Buhari also extended his condolences to his family, his colleagues in the National Assembly, as well as the government and people of Bauchi State over the loss.
In similar vein, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, also expressed sadness representative of Bauchi South Senatorial District at the Senate.
A tearful Saraki, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, on Saturday in Abuja, described the deceased as “vibrant lawmaker”, very passionate about his assignment in the Senate.
“This is especially so with his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and other committees where he was a member.
“Malam Ali Wakili 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Saraki prayed Allah to grant Wakili a place among the righteous in Aljannah Firdaus and his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.
Similarly, Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. 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 Sen. Wakil Ali.
“Senator Wakili’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.
“He 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 prayed God to grant eternal rest to the soul of the late Senator and support his family, people of Bauchi, and the nation with the fortitude to bear the loss.
Late Wakil, 58, representing Bauchi South District under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), who was the chairman, Senate committee on Poverty Alleviation, died on Saturday.
The deceased, a retired Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, defeated the former Governor of the state, Malam Isa Yuguda during the 2015 elections, to become the senator representing Bauchi South.
He attended Lere Primary School in Tafawa Local Government Area of Bauchi State from 1965 to 1972, proceeded to Government Secondary, School Damaturu in the then Borno, from 1972 to 1977,where he obtained his Senior School Certificate.
From 1977 to 1979, he attended Bauchi College of Arts and Science and subsequently proceeded to Bayero University, Kano for his Degree course, graduating in 1982.
He also attended the Nigerian Custom Training School, Lagos in 1984 and thereafter rose to the position of Comptroller of Customs in 1996 and retired in 2009.
The late lawmaker, a member of the National Institute, left behind two wives, 10 children and other relations.
He has since been buried a Gudu District Cemetery in Abuja around 2:00 p.m. after Islamic rites were performed on his remains at the National Mosque.