Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon said on Wednesday Dec. 19 that he narrowly missed the helicopter that crashed killing Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa, ex-National Security Adviser Andrew Azazi and four others in Bayelsa State on Saturday.
Gowon said this during a Special Service Session to mark the 50th birthday of Apostle Emmanuel Kure of Throney in Broom Ministry, Kafanchan.
“As we were with the aide to the President to pay our condolences, they were arranging a Navy helicopter to take us to Yenogoa (with Yakowa). But, another helicopter was arranged for me and five others. And that was it”.
“So when I heard about this accident, it really pained me. And I want to say, well, you can never tell with some of these things. It was an accident. Don’t impugn any meaning to it. Don’t say that it was planned to get rid of some people or something like that”.
“It was an accident, yes. There was this young pilot of the helicopter, who came to me after another helicopter, was found for us, and he said to me, ‘Sir, but I was all ready to take you to Yenagoa as part of my duty today’. And I said to him, ‘don’t worry, there will be another time. I really hope I will have the pleasure of flying with you again’.
“These were nice innocent people. Something, probably mechanical, went wrong to have caused the accident. So it was not a plan to get rid of the governor for whatever any reason people want to guess”.
“When, on Sunday, I saw the governor (Mukhtar Yero), I said, ‘I hope you will continue with the good work that your late governor was doing. It was the two of you that were doing the work. You were working to bring peace to Kaduna State. I hope you will do something about this madness alluded to Boko Haram, which, unfortunately is being alluded to Muslims’.”