Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State, former national security adviser, NSA, General Owoeye Azazi and others have been reportedly burnt in a helicopter crash that occurred in the forest of Okoroba community in Nembe local Government of Bayelsa State.
The crashed Naval helicopter was said to have occurred at about 4: 30 pm, a few minutes after take- off from the community.
It was gathered that the victims were returning from the funeral of the father of the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Douglas Oronto to Yenagoa the Bayelsa capital when the helicopter crashed. The helicopter was said to have burst into flames.
The identity of other victims of the crash are not known as at the time of filing this report.
Following the reports of the unfortunate death of the Governor of Kaduna state, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in a helicopter crash, the entire state has been thrown into confusion and mourning.
Though many of the state government officials could not immediately respond to the sad development as many of them were trying to get details of the crash.
Some of the Late Governor’s aides, including the Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Reuben Buhari; Media Consultant, Mr. Ado Emmanuel and Protocol officer, Alhaji Muhammed lawal were making frantic effort on phone with Bayelsa State where the Governor was said to have travelled for the burial ceremony of Chief Douglas father.
Buhari and Emmanuel said they have spoken to some of the officials of Late Yakowa who accompanied him to Abuja before the journey to Bayelsa, however they could not get in-depth details of the air crash.
Besides, the news of the Governor’s demise spread in Kaduna metropolis at about 7.30pm as several people were seen along major roads and streets in groups discussing the unfortunate incident.
Former Governor Balarabe Musa, while reacting to the unfortunate death of Yakowa said “the unfortunate death is an act of God”, saying that “may his soul rest in peace”.
The leader of the Civil Society Coalition in the North, Mallam Shehu Sani who reacted to the unfortunate crash in a statement, said that “the reported air crash and the death of sir Patrick Yakowa is a great loss to the people of Kaduna state, the Northern Part of Nigeria and the entire nation”.
Sani described Yakowa as “a patriot, a man of peace and a symbol of Unity”, while also pointing out that “he was a great nationalist and a unifying personality”.
“He is one of the best Governors in the history of Nigeria. Patrick Yakowa is a towering figure and a colossus in the search for National unity. Patrick Yakowa is one of Nigeria's greats. He is an unusual politician. My sympathy and condolence to his family and the entire people of kaduna state. We have lost a giant dove and a towering olive”.
Meanwhile, there was security beef up in the Kaduna metropolis, as several armed security men were seen patrolling all nook and crannies. There was also unprecedented traffic jam on major roads and streets.
The last public engagement of Late Yakowa was when he presented the 2013 budget before the state house of assembly.
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