“I was supposed to fly with Azazi, Yakowa” – Gowon (is there anybody who wasn’t?)

by Rachel Ogbu

Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon was supposed to be in the helicopter that crashed and killed the Kaduna state governor, Governor Patrick Yakowa and ex-National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi in Bayelsa State on Saturday.

Yesterday, Wednesday December 19, Gowon recounted how he missed the flight that could have ended his life. He spoke in Kafanchan, Kaduna State during a Special Service Session to mark the 50th birthday of Apostle Emmanuel Kure of Throney in Broom Ministry, Kafanchan.

“As we were with the aide to the President to pay our condolences, they were arranging a Navy helicopter to take us to Yenogoa (with Yakowa). But, another helicopter was arranged for me and five others. And that was it.

“So when I heard about this accident, it really pained me. And I want to say, well, you can never tell with some of these things. It was an accident. Don’t impugn any meaning to it. Don’t say that it was planned to get rid of some people or something like that.

“It was an accident, yes. There was this young pilot of the helicopter, who came to me after another helicopter, was found for us, and he said to me, ‘Sir, but I was all ready to take you to Yenagoa as part of my duty today’. And I said to him, ‘don’t worry, there will be another time. I really hope I will have the pleasure of flying with you again’.

“These were nice innocent people. Something, probably mechanical, went wrong to have caused the accident. So it was not a plan to get rid of the governor for whatever any reason people want to guess.

“When, on Sunday, I saw the governor (Mukhtar Yero), I said, ‘I hope you will continue with the good work that your late governor was doing. It was the two of you that were doing the work. You were working to bring peace to Kaduna State.  I hope you will do something about this madness alluded to Boko Haram, which, unfortunately is being alluded to Muslims’.”

The Punch reports:

Also speaking on the occasion, Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang said Yakowa lived for the service of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Fadan  Kagoma village, in Jema’a Local Government Council, birthplace of  the late Yakowa, is to receive his remains today (Thursday). Fadan Kagoma is about 230km away from Kaduna city.

At the Yakowa country home, workers were seen putting finishing touches to the grave   he will be buried.

One of the leaders in the village, who would not want his names in print, said,“Our village is going to witness the greatest gathering it has ever seen, but for a sad reason. We are expecting the President to land in this village by helicopter tomorrow (today).”

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One comment

  1. What we are saying sir is that that action of the political class is an arrogant display of mismanagement of public utility. The helicopter was procured purposely for military assignment and not for such occasions like that let us face fact. While Nigerian regret the unfortunate incident why should the state official vehicle be used for such unofficial functions? What is so special about the President's aid that must have warranted that. I'm surprised if a former head of state who suppose to know better is not reasoning along that line. So if the president is to have a function doing in his village the War Plane or the Presidential jet should be deployed there to convey people so that People will know him as President. The former head of state should not provoke people's feeling against the calibre of the people that died. I'm sure that the former Kaduna state governor, Governor Patrick Yakowa and ex-National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi would have been regretting their actions now. May the soul of the departed rest in peace.

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