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Nigerian Governor, Five Others Killed In Helicopter Crash

Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, governor of Nigeria's Kaduna State, died in a helicopter crash in Nembe, south-east of the oil-rich state of Bayelsa on Saturday, according to an official government communique. The governor was on an official trip to attend a burial and was returning to Port Harcourt with five others when the ill-fated helicopter crashed.

Nigeria's former national security adviser, General Andrew Azazi was also among the six killed in the accident. Azazi was earlier dismissed from his post in June this year after unprecedented sectarian violence claimed several lives in Nigeria. However, he is believed to have had close ties to the government even after his removal.

The accident took place in the evening with the chopper carrying government officials from Okoroba in Bayelsa state after they had attended the burial ceremony of a presidential aide's father. The helicopter shortly crashed in Nembe, on its way to Nigeria's oil capital of Port Harcourt, the reasons for which remain unknown.

The National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria said bodies of the passengers recovered from the site of the crash have been sent to a mortuary for further identification and completion of other formalities.

A Nigerian presidential spokesman said President Goodluck Jonathan was saddened by the loss and has ordered an investigation to identify the cause of the fatal crash. Initially, a spokesperson for the navy indicated the accident took place while ferrying some very important persons to Port Harcourt.

by RTT Staff Writer

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