Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said he was “extremely shocked” by the death of his Kaduna State counterpart, Mr. Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi in a helicopter crash in Okoroba community in Bayelsa State on Saturday.
Fayemi, in a condolence message on Sunday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, described the death of Yakowa, Azazi and other personalities in the helicopter crash as a “big tragedy of monumental proportion which hit the nation when least expected.”
The governor said the tragedy became more painful by the fact that the victims were returning from a burial where they had gone to commiserate with a friend who had just lost a father.
He regretted that the crash happened when the nation was yet to recover from the one involving Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State, which took place on October 25.
The latest crash, Fayemi added, also took place when much is being done by concerned authorities to restore sanity to the nation’s aviation sector following the June 3rd Dana Airline crash.
He described Yakowa as an active member of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) who had served the nation in various capacities as a Federal Permanent Secretary and Minister before serving in his home state, Kaduna as Secretary to the State Government, Deputy Governor and Governor.
Fayemi noted that Azazi served the nation meritoriously as a dedicated Army officer who rose through the ranks to become the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defence Staff and National Security Adviser shortly after his retirement.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of all the victims of the crash, praying God to grant their families and relations the fortitude to bear enormous loss.