Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) reacting to the news of the helicopter crash that killed Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, the former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Owoye Azazi and four others in Bayelsa State at the State House, Marina on Sunday, December 16, 2012.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sunday cancelled all his engagements to reflect on the import of the tragedy to the national psyche occasioned by the death, in a helicopter crash, of the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Patrick Yakowa and the immediate past National Security Adviser to the President, General Andrew Azazi which he described as shocking and horrific.
Governor Yakowa and General Azazi lost their lives when a helicopter they were flying in from Bayelsa State to Port Harcourt after attending the burial of the father of the Presidential Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas, crash into Koroba forest in Bayelsa State killing all on board.
Saying such losses need to be avoided, in a very sober reaction, Governor Fashola said the time has come for all Nigerians at all levels to come back to the basics and do things properly, to behave properly and to act with every sense of sobriety in order to curb such avoidable losses.
Recalling his very recent encounter with the two deceased personalities, Governor Fashola said, “It is really horrific and I am simply horrified not only because of the lives lost or the personalities involved. This is one of the losses we don’t really need; in my view, this kind of tragedy is avoidable”.
“I just begin to reflect on the things Governor Yakowa and I promised to do together; I was supposed to visit him in Kaduna. There were places he wanted us to cooperate. I saw General Azazi just last weekend when we launched the Monopoly Board and he said look Tunde we have to see over Christmas and I said I would see to it. And now to think that all those things are not going to happen because they have lost their lives in very avoidable accident, it is simply horrifying”, the Governor said.
He said he had to cancel all his engagements for Sunday in order to reflect on the import of the tragedy to the national psyche adding, “People are not dying out of disease or failure of healthcare. We are losing people in air traffic accidents, in road traffic accidents which we can control”.
“I don’t see really what the excitement is all about, I don’t see what all of this is about. I am short of words. The only reason we exist as a government is to protect life and property and those losses are undermining whatever successes we are making as a nation”, the Governor said.
Governor Fashola condoled with the people and Government of Kaduna State and the families of Governor Yakowa and General Azazi as well as others who suffered the loss of their loved ones in the crash including the Nigerian Navy saying, “I condole with the whole Nigerian Community who mourns this very avoidable and tragic loss and all their dependants. I hope that this will see the end of avoidable deaths in our land”.