The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday suspended its plenary session in honour of the late Senator, Malam Ali Wakili, who died after slumping at his house in Abuja last Saturday. A minute of silent prayer was also held in honour of the deceased Senator who until his death represented Bauchi South Senatorial district.
The 58 year old Senator Wakili, was a Member of the National Institute (mni), and held the position of the chairman, Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Welfare in thus present 8th National Assembly.
Senate suspension of Tuesday’s plenary, was sequel to a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan who said that the demise of the lawmaker was a sad incident for the upper legislative chamber.
He said: “It is also a sad incident for his senatorial district that he represented so well and for the entire country as well as development of democracy in the country. “It is our tradition, convention and culture in the National Assembly that when this kind of divine incident happens, we normally observe one minute silence in honour of the departed”.
Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, who seconded the motion, described the incident as a great loss not only to the Senate, but the country at large.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said it was proper for the Senate, as part of respect to the deceased and his family to adjourn all parliamentary activities in his honour.
Meanwhile, many senators took turn to write messages on the condolence register placed in front of the chamber and also spoke with journalists on the life and times of their deceased colleague.
In an interview with journalists, the Senate Deputy Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, said “in my entire career in the corridor of politics in Nigeria, I have never seen somebody who is as frank, honest and dedicated as Wakili.
Senator Na’Allah described the deceased as “a very sincere politician, never hiding his feelings”.
Also, Senator Binta Masi Garba said the demise of Wakili was a shock, describing him as a friend and brother. “Death is inevitable. We should see how we can right the wrongs of our lives. God grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss”, she said.
Senator Kabiru Marafa said the late Wakili will be missed over his candid approach to many issues, vast knowledge and experience in matters affecting his country and state.
“He was very jovial. If he is with you, he is with you. He will be missed in the chamber for his very eloquent contributions. Nigeria is going to miss him for his vast knowledge spanning over years from his sojourn in the Customs, his knowledge from NIPSS (National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies)”, Senator Marafa stressed.
Also, Senator Victor Umeh said, “I was on the last official assignment with him. Death is a reminder to all of us that life is so transient, we can lose it when we least expect it, and that will help to guide our actions the much we are alive”.