NLC Seeks Probe of Naval Helicopter Crash –Official Statement

The country has once more been thrown into mourning by the unfortunate death of some of her best citizens in an air crash that involved a military helicopter yesterday.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser, Andrew Owoeye Azazi, their aides and two pilots were reported to have died in the crash, which occurred in Bayelsa State.

This is not just a shocking occurrence but a devastating incident of no mean magnitude as Governor Yakowa is one of the best governors in Nigeria. Yakowa governs a state considered one of the most turbulent but has been able to manage the state despite several internal contradictions. He was clearly in charge as he demonstrated unequalled competence in his handling of the challenges facing the state. He was worker friendly and saw workers as one of the key pillars and driving force of government.

The late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa also played key roles in promoting national unity with the way and manner he was able to manage ethnic and religious interests in Kaduna State, which gave hope for national unity and cohesion.

While we condole with the families of those who died in this crash, we urge the Federal Government to institute a high powered probe into the cause of this crash. We also reiterate our call for a thorough safety check on all aircrafts, including helicopters, private jets as well as the Presidential fleet because it is obvious that the appropriate air safety authorities have not done enough in their statutory functions.

We also call for a serious and deep review of the country’s search and rescue system as we seem not to have the right equipments for quick response to emergencies of this magnitude. It was reported that the crash scene was difficult to locate after the crash. Possibly, some or all the victims could have been saved if our search and rescue system had the right equipments and personnel.

We extend our condolences, on behalf of all Nigerian workers, to the Governments and people of Kaduna and Bayelsa States where Yakowa and Azazi hails from respectively while praying that God gives the families of all those who died in this crash the fortitude to bear the loss.

Abdulwahed Omar