The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has confirmed the death of the Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa; the former National Security Adviser; Andrew Azazi and four others in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa state. The helicopter reportedly crashed this afternoon in a swampy location near Okoroba community in Nembe local government area of the state.
The Presidency in a statement mourning the victims the helicopter crash gave the names of the other four victims of the crash. They are Dauda Tsoho, an aide to Governor Yakowa and Warrant Officer Mohammed Kamal, an aide to former National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi. The pilots were Commander Muritala Mohammed Daba and Lt. Adeyemi O. Sowole.
NEMA’s spokesman, Yushau Shuaibu, in a statement, said that the six occupants of the chopper were found dead and their remains had been taken to the mortuary.
Here are excerpts of the statement as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria:
“The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the conclusion of the search and rescue operation over a Naval helicopter that crashed this afternoon in Nember area of Bayelsa State. The operation which involved collaborations of response agencies and volunteers led to the recovery of the bodies of the six passengers on-board the the helicopter.”
It was gathered that the helicopter was headed to Port Harcourt after attending the burial ceremony of the father of President Jonathan’s aide, Oronto Douglas.
According to Channels TV, the helicopter belonged to the Nigerian Navy. A statement by the Nigerian Navy confirming the incident and signed by the Director of Information; Commodre Kabiru Aliyu, says that the crash of the Augusta Helicopter (Helo 07) occurred at about 3.30 pm.
Yakowa and Azazi were both members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In a statement by the party’s spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, their death was confirmed. “Our great Party is shocked beyond imagination and no words can adequately give expression to the depth of our grief.” the statement read.
What a sad loss. This crash comes just weeks after a plane crash on October 25, 2012 involving the governor of Taraba state, Danbaba Suntai who is currently receiving treatment in a hospital in Germany.
May their souls Rest In Peace.