It has been reported that the ill-fated helicopter, that the governor of Kaduna state, Patrick Yakowa, a former National Security Adviser, Owoye Azazi, and four others, were travelling in, burst into flames, before plunging into the creeks.
The Presidency released a statement last night, confirming that Yakowa and Azazi, and their aides, Dauda Tsoho and Mohammed Kama; and the pilots, Murtala Daba and Adeyemi Sowole, reportedly died in the crash. Eye witnesses say they were burnt beyond recognition.
The chopper is owned by the Nigerian Navy and is said to have been shuttling repeatedly between Port Harcourt, Yenogoa and Okoroba, the town where an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Oronto Douglas, was burying his father over the weekend. The governor and the former Security chief, were on their way to Port Harcourt, enroute Abuja.
Multiple reports say the carrier wobbled shortly after it stabilized in air and then plummeted into the swamps around 2.30pm.
This is the third air disaster this year, after a Dana plane crashed on June 3, killing all 153 passengers on board. Another crash which involved Taraba State’s governor, Danbaba Suntai, occured in October, leaving him brain-dead.