Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday paid a condolence visit to the family of late former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi, at their Ikoyi, Lagos, residence.
Azazi, Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State, their aides and two pilots were killed in an ill-fated Navy chopper, which crashed in the creeks of Bayelsa on 15 December.
The President and his entourage were received by late Azazi’s wife, the children, grand children and some other members of the family.
The President was so grief-stricken that he was short of words. He thus assigned his chief of staff to speak on his behalf.
Addressing the families on behalf of the President, the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome, expressed the nation’s condolences and eulogised the departed general as a patriot and diligent officer.
“Azazi was indeed a great man, a diligent officer and patriot.
“The President had already organised a special Federal Executive Council (FEC) session in his honour and various council members had the opportunity to speak glowingly about him.
“They all had good words for him because he gave his best for the country.
“He rose by merit to become a 4-star general, and because the President had confidence in him, he was made the NSA.
“He was a good community man. He chaired the flood committee of his home state, the most affected state.
“He has played his role in his family, community and country, even internationally.
“We should take solace in the fact that he lived a good life. He has laid a good foundation for the family,” he said.
Oghiadome said: “Painful as it may be, this is not a moment of continued grief. God will grant him eternal rest and fill the vacuum he left. The president has asked me to express his deepest sympathy to your family”.
The Chaplain of Aso Villa Chapel, Rev. Obioma Onwuzurumba, prayed for the repose of Azazi’s soul, and respite for his family.
The president also signed a condolence register before leaving the residence.
On his entourage were ministers of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, her Petroleum counterpart, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke and the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada.
Also in the entourage, was the Special Adviser to the President on Research and Documentation, Mr Oronto Douglas and other Presidential aides.
Former Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and former NDDC boss, Timi Alaibe were also at the deceased’s residence.
Azazi served the Nigerian Military as head, Directorate of Military Intelligence, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defence Staff and as the NSA.
Azazi and Yakowa were killed in the helicopter crash while returning from the burial of Douglas’ father in Bayelsa State.