Mrs Patience Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s First Lady wept thoroughly for some time duringher visit to Mrs Amina, widow of late Kaduna state Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, at the Kaduna Government House.Yakowa was one of those killed last Saturday, along with former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Aziza, and four others, as the Naval helicopter conveying them from Nembe to PortHarcourt crashed .
After cring profusely,Nigeria’s First Lady said “I am sorry that am crying. I cry because I am a woman and I know what she (Yakowa’s wife) is passing through. In tears, the First Lady described the late Yakowa as a hard-working man even as she explained that,
“We came here to console her, with the good people of Kaduna state. Yakowa was a peaceful man, a man who was everything, a strong, hard-working man.
“My sister and friend, we seat in sorrow. I want you to know that you are the mother and father of your children now and we will continue to hold you in prayers.
“It is only God that can comfort because man cannot comfort you. May the Almighty God comfort you. It is quite unfortunate because this is the time we need Yakowa most in our lives but God has called him.”
She later wrote in the condolence register that, “we are also gladdened that you (Yakowa) were a true patriot who was devoted to the welfare of your people without regard for the divides and differences. Our prayers is that God, Almighty will receive you into His peace and grant your sweet repose.”
Others who visited the state to commiserate with the new Governor include included a 10-man delegation from the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), led by its Chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, as well as the wife of Benue state Governor, Yemisi Suswam, among several others.
Amaechi who spoke on behalf of the NGF told the new Kaduna governor that the governors were set to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the quest to unravel the circumstances that led to the helicopter crash in Rivers state.
Amaechi Said , “it is with pain that we are here to condole with you not because we do not share in your pain but because it is traditional to visit the owner of the corpse or the body. We felt that your former boss was our colleague until two days ago.
“In the tragic manner in which he died, we have resolved to do two things, firstly is to support the President in his call for investigation and to come here to pay our condolences to you who is the chief mourner and the people of Kaduna state and the immediate family of Yakowa.
“We know how sad and painful it is to lose loved ones and we ask that God will give you the strength and the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and we also pray that the same wisdom God gave him to impact on the lives of the people of Kaduna state, that same wisdom should be bestowed on you to be able to continue or complete his programs to also impact on the lives of Kaduna people.”
Those on the NGF entourage included, governors of Niger state, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Gombe state, Alhaji Ibrahim Dangwambo, Kogi state, Idris Wada, Plateau state, David Jang, Anambra state, Peter Obi, Abia state, Theodore Orji, Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako, Borno state, Kashim Shettima, and Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun.
The Governors later visited Mrs. Yakowa and Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, at the Gen.Hassan Usman Katsina House, Kawo.
The Governors’ Forum at the end of an emergency meeting in Abuja Governor Amaechi who read the communiqué also mourned the death of Yakowa,Azzazi ,their aides and pilot of the helicopter.
PDP National Chairman Tukur while consoling Yakowa’s widow in Kaduna said he had known Yakowa over the past 25 years.
Tukur said “this is a sad moment that has engulfed our nation by the demise of Yakowa but God knows best.
“He was the Commissioner of Industries when I was the Minister of industries. He was never tired of asking of me or seeing me throughout the time I was in office as Minister.
“I ask that you take heart. I will never forget him as a man of peace and a unifying force. He preached peace and unity to everybody all the time. We lost him when we need him most because our country needs peace. He will be in the bosom of the Lord. So take heart. We will continue to pray for him.”
And, for Tambuwal, Yakowa was a seasoned Administrator who has left his footprint on the sands of time.The country has truly lost a very fine and noble gentleman.
“To have handled Kaduna state the way he did in the last three years shows the quality of a good leader. He was a good listener. His death is a great loss to Kaduna state and Nigeria.
“Late Governor Yakowa was a peace promoter who was committed to the development of the state and the nation. He respected people and he was always available for service to the people.
“I pray the Almighty God to grant him eternal rest, forgive him and grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who was at the Kaduna state Government House before his colleagues from the NGF arrived, spoke with reporters and described Yakowa as a key partner in knitting the complex state and Nigeria.
According to Lamido, “Yakowa was a very dear friend to me apart from being a colleague. He was in Jigawa state recently on a visit where he commissioned some few projects and when he was there, we talked about Nigeria and I saw in him the intense love he has for Nigeria.
“My advice to the new Governor of Kaduna state is that he is a very young man and you know Kaduna is a very big state. So, he should rule with justice and fairness.”
The late Yakowa is expected to be laid to rest on Thursday at his home town, Fadan Kagoma, in Jema’a local government area of the state.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Navy has constituted a board to investigate the crash of its helicopter which resulted in the death of Yakowa,Azazi and others.Much earlier President Goodluck Jonathan had announced that the crash would be investigated.On Monday as well, the Governors’Forum led by Amaechi expressed support for FG’s resolve to probe the crash.