Governor Seriake Dickson of Nigeria’s oil rich Bayelsa State has described late Gen. Owoeye Azazi, as a visionary leader who gave his all in the service of his fatherland.
Azazi died on 15 December in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa.
Dickson, who made the commendation in his tribute at the Service of Songs held for late Azazi at the Peace Park, Friday in Yenagoa, noted that the demise of the late General had left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.
“Truly, we have lost a visionary leader and statesman and there may be no greater tribute to General Azazi’s illustrious military career than the fact that he was a first class military officer, who rose through the ranks to earn his place in the history of the Nigeria Army.
“We have not only lost a kinsman, big brother, father, grandfather, friend and colleague; the Ijaw Nation has clearly lost one of its finest and very best! He was a patriot who gave his all,” Dickson said.
The governor described late Azazi as a great leader, whose tragic and untimely death had left an indelible mark in the history of Bayelsa.
He said that the government and people of Bayelsa would not hesitate to declare late Azazi “a true hero of Ijaw land and one who is deserving of a heroic burial. ‘’
“That is why his remains will be the first to be interred at the Heroes Park – an exclusive burial final resting place reserved only for all true legends and heroes of the state.”
Dickson said that the Heroes Park, where General Azazi would be buried was a fitting tribute to his person and bore eloquent testimonies to the proud legacies and ideals that he was known and died for.
“It will also serve as a constant reminder of his unblemished and outstanding record of service to the state and nation.’’
Dickson assured late Azazi’s family of the Bayelsa government continued support and cooperation.
“General Andrew Owoye Azazi, an officer and a worthy gentleman, has finished his race but certainly his good deeds will remain in our hearts until we meet to part no more,’’ the governor said.
The service of songs was attended by President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Patience, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state.
Azazi will be buried today in Yenagoa.