16 December 2012

Nigeria: Shock, Confusion in Kaduna

Photo: Vanguard
Patrick Yakowa, Governor of Kaduna State and General Andrew Azazi

Kaduna — There was confusion in Kaduna before the formal announcement of the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa. But as soon as the formal confirmation of the death was made the confusion turned into a state of shock.

Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Lawal Samaila Abdullahi issued a statement saying the governor died while on his way to Port Harcourt from Bayelsa State.

According to him, other details and burial arrangement will be announced. He prayed for the repose of the governor.

The state Information Commissioner Saidu Adamu told Sunday Trust that the governor left the state for Bayelsa for the burial of President Goodluck Jonathan's aide Oronto Doughlas yesterday.

"You know there is no airport in Bayelsa State so a helicopter belonging the Nigerian Navy was provided for the airlifting of dignitaries," he told Sunday Trust in a telephone interview.

The governor along with General Azazi, their aides and pilots of the helicopter died when it crashed.

Even as the news of the crash began to spread in Kaduna, many top officials and politicians in the state refused to comment on the report.

When our correspondent went to the Government House around 9pm, security men stationed there barred him from entering.

When the news started filtering round of the death, our correspondent gathered that top government functionaries in the state rushed to the Government House to confirm the veracity of the report.

They were however disappointed as nobody could confirm the report. Our correspondents report that the governor's media aides switched off their phones.

However, President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria Comrade Shehu Sani described the death of the governor as a great loss to the people of Kaduna state, the northern part of Nigeria and the entire country.

He said: "Patrick Yakowa is a patriot, a man of peace and a symbol of Unity. He is a great nationalist and a unifying personality. He is one of the best governors in the history of Nigeria.

Meanwhile our correspondent reports that in many local government areas of the southern part of the state, the news of the crash was received with shock as many abandoned their businesses and rushed to their houses.

It was observed that some of the businessmen who operate up to midnight closed their businesses early yesterday.

In Kagoma, where the governor hails from, people gathered in groups discussing about the crash.

According to Musa Bulus, "We are yet to receive serious details about the crash. We are just reading it in the social networks.

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