This Day (Lagos)

18 December 2012

Nigeria: Helicopter Crash - ANPP Urges Thorough Probe

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has asked the authorities of the Nigerian Navy to carry out a quick and conclusive investigation into last Saturday's helicopter tragedy that claimed six lives in Bayelsa State including the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.

ANPP's charge came just as the book launch meant to galvanise the views of opposition political parties on a common manifesto for the 2015 general election got postponed as a mark of honour to the victims of the plane crash.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, the party said investigating the cause of the crash will help to restore confidence in the masses and also blaze the trail for aviation operations' best practices in the country.

The party said it received the news of the crash of the naval helicopter which killed Yakowa and the former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi (rtd) and four others, with deep shock and concern.

"At this distressing hour for the bereaved families, there could be nothing more comforting to them than a thorough investigation into the cause or causes of the accident, and the unraveling of the mystery behind the Navy Agusta helicopter crash and other plane crashes in the country. As human beings it will go a long way in giving them vent for their pain and a sense of equanimity that such disaster would not happen again," it said.

The ANPP described the death of the governor and the former NSA as a great loss to the whole nation, and a sad statement on the nation's air transport.

"We join the good people of Kaduna State, Bayelsa State, andthe family and friends of the deceased to mourn at this hour of sorrow. This is indeed a sad moment for Nigeria," he added.

Last Saturday's unfortunate incident has also taken its toll on several important events billed for the week as members of the opposition parties have cancelled two key events that would have brought them together to chat a common cause.

Following the death of the Kaduna State Governor in the helicopter crash, the leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), said he had postponed his birthday anniversary earlier scheduled for yesterday.

In the same vein, organisers of a book launch on the prospects for a common manifesto of the Nigerian opposition political parties announced a cancellation of the event in honour of the victims of the crash.

The author of the book whose launch was to have provided an platform for the convergence of the opposition party leaders in Abuja, Mr. Salihu Muhammed Lukman, told THISDAY yesterday that the event has been shift to January 15, 2013 in keeping with the mood of the nation.

"We have to respect the memory of the victims of the last Saturday's helicopter crash. On account of the death of Governor Yakowa, we just cannot go on with the event. We have postponed it till January 15, next year," he said.

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