By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- SENATE President David Mark yesterday described the death of Kaduna State Governor Dr. Patrick Yakowa and the immediate past National Security Adviser(NSA) General Owoye Azazi in the ill- fated Navy Chopper in Bayelsa State on Saturday as devastating.
Senate President Mark however urged Aviation experts and the appropriate authorities to rise up to the challenge of ensuring that such air disasters were prevented in future.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, Senator Mark noted that the crash which also claimed the aides of Yakowa and Azazi, Dauda Tsoho, Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal as well as the Pilots ; Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba and Lt. Adeyemi Sowole was a national tragedy.
According to the Senate President, the frequency of air mishaps in the recent times unarguably calls for caution and return to the basics, adding, ” My heart goes to the nation especially the families and friends of the victims. It is another sad moment for the nation. It is a huge burden”
Senator Mark pointed out that both Yakowa and Azazi were personal friends to him, saying “ besides official relationships, they were my personal friends, it is like a double tragedy to me. This is sad.”
He recalled his recent encounter with Yakowa when they both travelled to the Vatican on a Federal government delegation to the consistory of Cardinal John Olurunfemi Onaiyekan saying the governor was so concerned on how to make Kaduna state safe and home to all.
Senator Mark described Azazi as one of the finest military officers in Nigeria who served the nation diligently and meritoriously . He said Azazi’s service to the nation was dictated by national interest and uncommon patriotism.
He also commiserated with the Navy authority for the sad loss of its officers noting that they died in active service to the nation.