The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday asked the federal government not to sweep the report of the investigation into the helicopter clash that claimed the lives of Kaduna state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, former National Security Adviser, Andrew Azazi and others like it did to other reports.
The CAN warning is coming on the heel of denial by the Southern Kaduna Elders Forum that it has presented the name of Yakowa’s widow as the new deputy governor of the state.
CAN President gave the warning when he paid a condolence visit to the family of late Yakowa and the new Kaduna state governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero at the government house, Kaduna.
Represented by the CAN National Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, Oritsejafor said the Christian body will support the government in its effort to unravel the cause of the crash and implement the report saying “CAN supports the Federal Government for setting up a panel of investigation. We support it and we are looking forward to the report.
“But we have heard of panels of investigation being set up and reports submitted in the country, we hope and pray that the Federal government release the report of this one and take action. The federal government should please this time around release the report of this very crash.
“It is not just setting up the panel, we want an outcome of the panel. So CAN is solidly behind the federal government in doing this and we are calling on the federal government that if the report is submitted, it should please act on the report.
“We were shocked, if there is anything more than shock, we will use that word. We were not prepared for it. We are here representing our national President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who is out of the country at this very moment.
“He has asked me to come to greet the family and the people of Kaduna State to tell them that it is only God who can comfort us. And so to the family, we want to say our God is able and He will comfort them. To the people of Kaduna State, the Lord gave us Yakowa, the Lord has taken Yakowa.
“We welcome the new Governor and promise to pray with him so that the Lord will give him success. We are so happy to hear that he is going follow the footsteps of the late governor. We pray that the Lord will help him to do exactly what he has said.
“We enjoyed a lot of cooperation with Yakowa, we enjoyed watching him doing what he did during the short time he was governor of Kaduna State. We pray that the same relationship will be extended to the new governor.
“Our advice to politicians and every human being is that they should take a day at a time and work with their God because you never can tell. You leave and say you are going somewhere, and you may not come back, you will be appearing before God. Let us work with God, lets fear God, lets do what will bring happiness to those that elected us.
However, Chairman of the Southern Kaduna Elders Forum, General Zamani Lekwot says that they have not held any meeting to back anybody for the position, adding that it was wrong for them to make such a move when Yakowa has not been buried.
He said “Look, the late governor’s corpse has not even arrive Kaduna (the interview took place before the corpse arrived Kaduna). So it will be improper for anybody to start making statements that I led a delegation. This has not been fair on us. Let us bury the man first. I did not let a delegation on a Deputy Governor.“No, the information is not proper. We went to pay a condolence visit to His Excellency and the Vice President. So, it’s out of decorum for anybody to say that we went to say this is our Deputy Governor. The elders are more responsible than that. Let’s bury him first, and other things will follow. But am telling you we have no hand in that story.
“We were not contacted, and nothing like that happened. The visit of condolence has nothing to do with other things. After we bury him, we can start talking about that. The poor woman is mourning her husband. How can anybody in his right senses start meeting on that? We have not met, and a decision will be taken after the burial.
Also speaking on the issue, Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo denied that the Southern Kaduna Elders submitted any name to him for consideration as the next deputy governor.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Umar Sani, the Vice President said “No, the elders did not make a case for the late Yakowa’s wife to be deputy. They came on a condolence visit. They told the Vice President that they want the governor to make his own choice but that wider consultation should be done. They did not represent anybody.
“You know, the Vice President understands the complexities of Kaduna and he has said that he will not interfere and that the Governor should select someone from Southern Kaduna that he feels he can work with as his deputy. And that is the beauty of democracy – wider consultation with the stakeholders from Southern Kaduna and the person that will be selected will be acceptable by everybody”.
Tony Colins, kaduna