BY REUBEN IZEZE
THE vanity and transience of our mortal struggles. I have just confirmed from my egbon in Abuja that the reported deaths of Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State,General Owoye Azazi and four others in a Naval Helicopter crash in Bayelsa State is indeed true.
I chose not to believe any online media reportage in the hope that there could still be survivors.
Too many deaths have been around us as a people and having just come back from the funeral of a very dear “father”;the late Chief Efe Christopher Akpobi,I just didn’t want to experience the death of anyone remotely close to me.
General Owoye Azazi was a man who became my big bros after his retirement from the Military as CDS.
He had visited Delta State as an in-Law seeking a wife(His nephew was getting married to an Oyovbaire) and my boss had instructed me to be his Protocol attaché with all the apparatii of the State at General Azazi’s disposal.
I was his attaché for those three days he stayed in Delta and that was the beginning of a very warm relationship.
He was a through and through soldier but he allowed me to remain my through and through Comrade without bullying me to back up on any issue we differed.
While he was a private citizen,we kept our relationship warm and cordial.
When he took up office as NSA,I didn’t need to be told,I just let him concentrate on his job after sending him my prayers and congratulations.
When he was removed from office again,we re-connected and had a good laugh at the “scape-goatism” that had been his lot in the high-wired politics of Abuja. Ironically,it was at the same event where we had this good laugh that I had earlier met Governor Yakowa for the first and sadly,last time.
Governor Yakowa and I had shared a “unique 5-minute experience” earlier on,because immediately after he alighted from his car on his arrival at the venue of an event being hosted by my boss,he “heard nature’s call” and it was my responsibility to attend to his needs.As a Jos boy,it was easy to relate with him and I guess it made him feel relaxed too.
I left that encounter(the Governor needing to use the peoples’ loo) with the reinforcement of my impression of how simply the average Northerner took life and how we all as Men are created equal before God(at least Governors dey piss too).
He was such a gentle man that he repeated his gratitude(for what I couldn’t even fathom,me wey be labourer) about thrice and then left me with a joke.He had asked how I got to be a public officer in Delta when:”Obviously you are a Plateau man”?
I had smiled and led him and his wife to their seats.
You can therefore see why I had earlier wished this story was a hoax.
I had made attempts to reach my Comrade who happened to be the host of the event they had attended in Bayelsa without success,just as all calls to General Azazi’s phone were not successful until I got across to my egbon who finally confirmed this black-night-news.
My condolence goes to the Azazi family,his wife and his kids whom he loved so much.
To the Yakowa family and the good people of Kaduna State,may God grant you all the fortitude to bear this terrible and irreplaceable loss.Allah ya jikan su!
To the families of all the others who died in this fatal crash,may God be with you all and by your side in this very difficult time.
As for those of us still alive,may we learn of the Vanity and transience of all our mortal struggles that we may do good to all men while we still have time on our hands.
May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace,AMEN.