Today I attended the 10th year anniversary lecture and foundation launch in memory of His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa, former Governor of Kaduna State who died in a tragic crash in Bayelsa in 2012.
How time flies!
When I learnt of the event and received the invitation, I felt duty-bound to attend.
His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa was an older colleague of mine and an elder brother who died while attending a burial ceremony in Bayelsa State. It was my responsibility as governor to manage all the events relating to the retrieval and conveyance of his remains to Kaduna state after which I led a state delegation on a condolence visit to his family, the Government and the people of Kaduna State.
He passed alongside General Owoye Azazi, the first 4-star general in Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation. That day remains very sad in the annals of Bayelsa, Kaduna states and across Nigeria.
I thanked his widow, Her Excellency, Mrs Amina Yakowa for her untiring efforts in keeping the family and the flag of his legacies flying.
I thanked the Chairman of the occasion His Excellency, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State, one of those who discovered, supported and gave the opportunity to His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa to thrive in public service as he did.
I also thanked all the traditional rulers, Gen. Agwai, Ministers and other dignitaries for coming and prayed God Almighty to continue to stand by the Yakowa family.
I stated also that we in Bayelsa; the government, leadership and people will continue to support and pray for the Yakowa family.
I promised to personally convey this event to the government of Bayelsa State and expressed confidence that the government and people of Bayelsa will continue to show solidarity.
All Nigerians should draw appropriate lessons from the life of His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa especially at these trying times where he taught inclusiveness, simplicity, humility, respect for people and consensus building. He was a unifier, not a divider and Kaduna State and Nigeria at large needs more Yakowas.
The Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation pledges to support the Patrick Yakowa Foundation with the sum of 3 million naira while the letter to the governor of Bayelsa state His Excellency Senator Douye Diri, who was not aware of the event but whose goodwill message is embedded in mine, shall be personally forwarded for appropriate attention.
The Yakowa family and the people of Kaduna State should know that we in Bayelsa appreciate their friendship which His Excellency, late Patrick Yakowa died servicing and together, we will continue to build bridges of understanding and unity in a fair and all-inclusive Nigeria.
May his gentle soul continue to rest in peace and may God continue to strengthen his wife, Her Excellency, Mrs Amina Yakowa and the entire family. HSD