Former and serving public officials pour encomiums on Yakowa, Azazi.
Prominent Nigerians have continued to express their condolences over the death, Saturday, of the Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa; and former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi, in a chopper crash in Bayelsa State.
Both men, alongside four others, died in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State on Saturday.
Some of those who have expressed their sadness at the death include former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo and Rauf Aregbesola of Osun; and former governors Bola Tinubu of Lagos and Orji Kalu of Abia.
“It was devastating to hear that Nigeria lost one of its finest breed of politicians, in the person of Governor Patrick Yakowa to the crash,” Mr. Abubakar said. “Both Governor Yakowa and General Azazi were two gentlemen who served the country with their hearts and the finest of their skills and capabilities.”
Mr. Kalu said: “Apart from the serving governor, who has been doing a good job in his state, and General Azazi, whose wealth of experience is needed at this time that the country is going through a season of insecurity, the others in the ill-fated chopper, especially the pilots, have been described as some of the best the country’s military institutions have produced.”
“Losing such persons in one crash calls for sober reflection and a thorough probe of the crash.
“If the pilots have been described as some of the best in the military, then the likelihood is that something technical must have gone wrong.”And this is where the need for a thorough funding of the military surfaces again,” he said.
According to Mr. Aregbesola, “Governor Patrick Yakowa was an astute politician, selfless leader, a gentleman, a leader worthy of emulation. His death probes imagination; dampens morale strength and one that betrays emotion. Without gainsaying, his demise would leave a gaping hole in the political and social life of Kaduna State.”
“On his own, General Azazi was a fine Army intelligent officer; frank, gentle and taciturn, he knew his onions and approached his profession with passion. He was indeed a thoroughbred officer.
“During his active service to the country, Aziza was not only an asset to the military, where he served as the Chief of Defence Staff before his retirement, but also an asset to the entire nation and a security and intelligent army officer,” he added.
Former Lagos Governor, Mr. Tinubu said, “A calamitous season seems upon us as a country and the helicopter crash that killed the governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa and Owoye-Azazi is both sad and devastating for us as a people.”
Foremost Professor of Law, Itse Sagay said, “Gov. Yakowa was the first Christian governor of Kaduna State. In my view, he was an experiment in religious tolerance.”
“”In other words, if he succeeded, that aspect of our lives would have been an improvement.
“The same thing with Gen. Azazi and all the affected people. We have lost very important people and this year has been a very terrible tragic year for the country.
“This is just a continuation of these horrible experiences,” he added.
The Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onyekachi Ubani, also described the incident as devastating and a huge loss to the country.
“It was sad and clearly devastating to the country and to the various families. Much as we weep over this massive loss, we must pause and ask salient questions.
“Must governors always leave state functions to travel for things like burial of the father of special aide to the President?” he said.
The Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, said “At times like this, one does not have a choice than to cry unto God for grace to manage the effect of the “irreparable damage the deaths of these illustrious sons of the nation may have on every one of us either as family members, friends and nation.”
The Emir of Zaria said late Governor Yakowa “shaped the lives of humanity.’’
“No doubt his death has robbed Kaduna state and the nation of the services of a great patriot and public figure,’’ he said.
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