Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Gov Yakowa, Azazi Feared Dead in Helicopter Crash

A military helicopter has reportedly crashed near Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, Saturday evening. Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State and former national security adviser, NSA, General Owoeye Azazi were said to be in the naval aircraft at the time of the crash.

Others in the ill-fated crash include a top politician from Kaduna state Dudas Tsoho, Azazi's orderly, the pilot and his co-pilot.

Vanguard gathered that the victims were returning to Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, from the funeral of the father of Douglas Oronto, Special Adviser to the President on Research and Documentation at Nembe area of Bayelsa, when the helicopter crashed into the creeks. The helicopter was said to have burst into flames immediately.

The victims of the ill-fated chopper according to a former youth president of Okoroba community, Hitler Adumion who spoke to Vanguard from the scene of the crash, were burnt beyond recognition.

The former youth president said, "we became suspicious when we noticed a thick smoke coming from the forest and we organized a search party to trace the source and stumbled on the crash scene. Though we don't know the identities of the victims but the helicopter is still burning, with bodies burnt beyond recognition."

Efforts to get reactions from naval authorities, the Joint Task Force, JTF, and the Air Force on the tragedy proved abortive as they all refused to disclose the identities of the victims.

However, one of the officials, specifically told Vanguard that there are normal channels to follow when such tragic incident occur - notifying the families of the deceased first before going public.

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