16 December, 2012
THE Nigerian Navy last night confirmed the crash of its Agusta helicopter around the Nembe-Okoroba area of Bayelsa State. Naval spokesman, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, who did not want to speak on the number or identities of persons aboard the ill-fated helicopter however told The Guardian that “the helicopter was conveying Very Important Personalities (VIPs) to Port Harcourt from Okoroba village.”
In a Press statement released later by
Naval Headquarters, Commodore Aliyu
said: “A Nigerian Navy Agusta helicopter (helo 07) crashed today Saturday 15 December 2012 at about 3:30pm around Nembe-Okoroba area in Bayelsa State. The helicopter was conveying some VIPs to Port Harcourt from Okoroba Village also in Bayelsa State. “Search and rescue operation is ongoing by a combined team of personnel from the Joint Task Force (OP PULO SHIELD), Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, NEMA and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps. Further details on the crash will be made available as received.”
Sources told The Guardian that Patrick
Ibrahim Yakowa, former Governor of
Kaduna State and immediate past
National Security Adviser, Gen Andrew
Owoye Azazi were burnt to death in the
helicopter crash. The source also said that Mr. Yakowa, who wore a cream
coloured agbada with cap to match,arrived the venue of the interdenominational service of the
burial of the father of Presidential
Adviser, Oronto Douglas, with Seriake Dickson, the Governor of Bayelsa State. Gen Azazi, former governor of Bauchi State Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Oba Otudeko, Mr. Timi Alaibe and other top government functionaries.
At the living room of Mr.Douglas, the late governor and Azazi exchanged banter with other visitors, journalists and friends.