(The Nation) The former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, was on Thursday laid to rest at his country home in Fadan Kagoma.
Yakowa died on Saturday, December 15, in a helicopter crash at Nembe Local government Area of Bayelsa along with five others, including former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi.
In a tribute at the burial service held at St Paul Catholic Church, President Goodluck Jonathan eulogised Yakowa describing him as a “bridge builder’’ who loved his people irrespective of their religion and tribe.
He described Dec. 15 as a “dark Saturday.’’
“Yakowa was a nationalist. He played his roles very well as a civil servant of the old not as a civil service of today when a director has more houses than Dangote.
“`No ethnic or religious divide in his blood,” he said.
The president pledged the continued support of the government to the immediate family of the deceased.
He also appealed to leaders to guard their utterance in public and in private against those things that could divide and destroy the nation.
He urged the senior citizens to emphasise those things that unite the nation instead of the issues that can divide the country.
“Utterances and words of elders are just like winds and waves that move, gather momentum and cause destructive effects of which the end results of such destruction cannot be predicted.
“Responses of our young men and women are reflections of what the elders talk in public and even in private,’’ he said.
Earlier in a message, Rev. Mathew Kukah, said no one could neither teach God knowledge nor question his decisions; therefore people should not feel despondent over the death of Yakowa.
He said the deceased died at his appointed time by God and urged the people to ignore those who are wielding suspicious story about his death.
He debunked the purported claim that a section of religious divide in the state was rejoicing over the death of Yakowa.
He noted that former Head Of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, a devout Muslim, cancelled his 70th birthday in honour of Yakowa.
He said the deceased made his marks as the first child from the Christian dominated southern part of Kaduna to attain the top position at various levels of government.
Kukah said Yakowa also broke the jinx by becoming the first Christian executive governor of Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Cardinal John Onaiyekan, assisted by other clergy conducted the Requiem and the Eucharist Mass.
Among the dignitaries at the burial were former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, the Senate President, Sen. David Mark and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.
The Chairman of Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and his wife, Judith, Governors Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Gabriel Suswam of Benue and Oluegun Mimiko, Ondo were also in attendance
Also in attendance were Deputy Governors James Ngilari of Adamawa, Peter Kishira of Kwara, Abubakar Aliyu of Yobe, Umar Mustapha of Borno and Damishi Lucas of Nasarawa.
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, his predecessors, Chief Solomon Lar, Chief Audu Ogbe, Alhaji Amadu Ali as well as Prof. Jerry Gana, were also in attendance.
Also in attendance were ministers, the National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki and some aides of the President.
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