The tragic death in a naval helicopter crash yesterday evening of Kaduna state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa and former national security adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi and their aides, have thrown Nigeria, into mourning.
In Kaduna State, the man who will succeed Yakowa, Deputy Gov. Alhaji Mukhtar Yero on Saturday condoled with the family of Yakowa at the Government House.
Yero, who led members of the state Executive Council and other top government officials met with Mrs Amina Yakowa and commiserated with her over the death of the governor in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa. Yakowa turned 64 on 1 December.
The deputy governor prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Christian Matters, Rev. Joseph Hayab led a special prayer for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
Hayab described his death as a great loss to the state and urged people of the state to pray for the late governor.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in whose state the tragedy occurred expressed utter shock and sadness over the crash of the Navy helicopter resulting in the death of Yakowa , Azazi (rtd), their aides, Dauda Tsoho and Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal and the pilots, Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba and Lt. Adeyemi O. Sowole.
In a statement, the President offered deep and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased, and the governments and people of Kaduna and Bayelsa states, describing the sudden loss of the Nigerians as extremely painful to the entire nation. President Jonathan said he has ordered an investigation into the causes of the crash.
The President’s wife, Patience, was equally shocked and immediately ordered a cancellation of a special prayer and thanksgiving service billed to hold today in Abuja.
As dame Jonathan’s media assistant, Ayo Osinlu said: the postponement is compelled by the unfortunate helicopter crash in Bayelsa .
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also described as devastating the death of governor of Kaduna state, Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Owoye Azazi.
In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party “expressed utter shock and devastating grief at the news .
The statement said the party was shocked beyond imagination and that no words could adequately describe the feelings of the members.
“The nation has lost a great patriot who in about two years in saddle as the Governor of Kaduna state demonstrated an unyielding capacity in wielding together varying fragile interests.
“He rendered quality stewardship to his people.
“Even in the face of daunting security challenges, nothing came close to compromising his iron cast resolve and faith that the phase must certainly pass.
“It is unfortunate that the nation has lost him at this critical curve in our national history,” the party said.
Bayelsa state government under whose skies the helicopter crash occurred issues a laet night condolence message Saturday night.
So shocking was the loss because General Andrew Owoye Azazi (Rtd) the immediate past National Security Adviser was sworn in as the Chairman of Bayelsa State Post Flood Management Committee just last week Thursday in Yenagoa,by the Bayelsa State Governor, Serieke Dickson.
in a condolence statement signed by Mr. Markson Fefegha,the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, on behalf of the Bayelsa state Government, the government condoled with ” the family, people and Government of Kaduna State over the ill fated helicopter crash that claimed the life of His Excellency, Patrick Yakowa, while returning from a funeral ceremony of the father to the Special Adviser to the President on Research and Documentation, Late Pa Douglas at Tombi area of Okoroba Community, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State at about 16:00 hours on the 15th of December, 2012.
“The Bayelsa State Government also wishes to condole with the family of the immediate past National Security Adviser and the Chairman of Bayelsa State Post Flood Management Committee, General Andrew Owoye Azazi (Rtd) who was among the passengers on board the ill fated helicopter crash.
The statement further expressed ” heartfelt condolences also to the families of the personal security aides to both Chief Yakowa and General Azazi” .
The State Government said that vacuum created by the demise of these notable personalities will be difficult to fill, noting their contributions to the growth of not only their respective states but the Country as a whole.”
In Ogun state, Governor Ibikunle Amosun also expressed his condolences, in a statement signed by his press aide, Funmi Wakama.
Reported by Femi Adi/kaduna, Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja and Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt