Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed shock and sadness over the helicopter crash in Bayelsa State which killed the Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa; former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Owoye Azazi (rtd); their aides, Dauda Tsoho and Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal and the pilots, Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba and Lt. Adeyemi O. Sowole.
A statement issued on Saturday by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati, said that Jonathan extended 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 distinguished Nigerians as painful to the entire nation.
In the same vein, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has said that the death of Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa; a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi and others in a helicopter crash was shocking and devastating.
Reacting to news of the deaths, Governor Uduaghan said that it was a big blow to the country particularly given the caliber of all the persons that were involved.
According to him, they are deaths too many for Nigeria and Nigerians to bear noting that this saddening development called for prayers.
A statement made available to Blank NEWS Online by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Sunny Ogefere said, “This is so sad and painful. It is devastating not just to me as an individual, but to our collective being as a nation.”
Uduaghan, while condoling with the government and people of Kaduna and Bayelsa states, families of the deceased and Nigerians over the fatalities, also prayed God Almighty to grant the souls of the departed eternal rest.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it is “shocked beyond imagination concerning the death of two of its top members, Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa, and former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Owoye Azazi in a military helicopter crash on Saturday.”
A a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh reads: “Our great party is shocked beyond imagination and no words can adequately give expression to the depth of our grief. What a colossal loss!”
“The nation has lost a great patriot who, in about two years in saddle as 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.”
PDP said it is “unfortunate that the nation has lost the governor at this critical curve in our national history.”
Recall that a military helicopter conveying the immediate past National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi; Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa and other dignitaries crashed Saturday in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State.
The helicopter reportedly burst into flames immediately after the crash, and all the passengers in the chopper were confirmed dead.
They were returning from Bayelsa State, venue of the funeral of the father of Douglas Oronto, the special adviser to the president on strategy, when the helicopter crashed into the creeks.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has since recovered the bodies of the victims.