Senator representing Bauchi South, Ali Wakili, Saturday morning, died at age 58 in Abuja.
His last public outing was business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s daughter’s wedding at Emir of Kano, Sanusi’s palace in Kano on Friday.
Senator Wakili was said to have slumped at his Gwarimpa Abuja residence and was rushed to Viewpoint Hospital, where he was certified dead.
Wakili was the Chairman Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation.
He was buried on Saturday afternoon at Gudu cemetery, Abuja. He is survived by wives and children.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, attended the burial.
In a statement, President Muhammadu Buhari described the death of Senator Ali Wakil as “an incalculable loss to Nigeria’s democracy,” stressing that the late Senator’s “dedication to duty was remarkable and worthy of emulation.”
The President, in the statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), said that the death of the senator came as a great shock to him, adding that Wakil’s dedication to duty would remain one of the greatest virtues for which he would be remembered.
President Buhari said “the passion for duty was one of the finest qualities of late Senator Wakil,” and urged other democratically elected leaders to borrow a leaf from the deceased’s record of dedication.
The President, while praying to Allah to bless the soul of the departed senator, also extended his condolences to his family, his colleagues in the National Assembly, as well as the government and people of Bauchi State over this great loss to the country.
Dr. Saraki on Saturday expressed deep sadness over the sudden death of Wakili.
A tearful Saraki, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late Senator as a vibrant lawmaker and public servant who was very 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 Wakili is one lawmaker you can never be in doubt where he stands on a particular issue. He spoke his mind fearlessly,” Saraki said. “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,” he added.
Saraki has since visited the residence of the Senator in Abuja where he commiserated with his immediate and extended family members.
The President of the Senate prayed Allah to grant Mallam Wakili a place among the righteous in Aljannah Firdaus and his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
Hon. Yakubu Dogara described as devastating and heart breaking, the news of the death of Senator Malam Ali Wakili.
The Speaker who could not control his emotions on getting the sad news, described the late Sen. Wakili as a personal friend, true brother and dependable ally.
“The death of Sen. Ali Wakili is a personal loss to me. I’m short of words to describe how devastated and heartbroken 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. Wakili 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 at large over this irreparable loss.”
Immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark in his message, expressed shock and sadness over the untimely death of Senator Ali Wakili.
Reacting to the demise of Wakili, Senator Mark said: “I am shocked and saddened by the sudden demise of our colleague and friend. It is devastating”.
He stated, “Senator Wakili was a peace maker. He always craved for fairness, justice and national unity.
“He was a principled, focused and resourceful parliamentarian who identified with the ordinary people. He fought for the welfare of citizens without compromise. He practiced inclusive politics that provided the greatest benefit to the largest number of his constituents.
Senator Mark stated that the Senate and indeed the nation lost a detribalized Nigerian and one of the apostles of our democratic project.
As a respected parliamentarian, Senator Mark added that “Wakili always deployed wisdom and diplomatic strategy to drive home his points needed to provide dividends of democracy to his people.
“We shall miss his robust and unbiased contributions to parliamentary debate on national issues,” Mark said.