At specifically 4.06 pm on Thursday, the remains of the late Gov of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, were dedicated to mother earth at his home-town in Fadan Kagomain Jema’a Local Government Region of the state.
Amongst those in attendance to bid him farewell were President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bamanga Tukur; Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Kukah, and Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
At St. Paul Catholic Church where the funeral mass was held, his children and hundreds of kinsmen wept frantically.
In their tributes at the funeral service, Jonathan, Mark, Kukah and others applauded the late governor’s commitment to national advancement, claiming he died at an “appointed time”.
Jonathan, who referred to December 15, the day of the copter crash as a dark Saturday, lamented that the nation had lost “a bridge-builder”.
He stated the deceased was a personification of sincerity, oneness and passion, and advised all Nigerians to imbibe his character.
The President said, “Yakowa talked about peace, love, and unity always. He was a nationalist but death comes when it will come. When it comes it is what matters. His death is unfortunate, but it is the Will of God. I was encouraged by the speech of the widow (Amina) that Yakowa’s death brought unity and peace.
“Yakowa was a nationalist. He played his roles very well as a civil servant of the old not as a civil servant of today when a director has more houses than Dangote.
“There was no ethnic or religious divide in his blood.
“It is time for all Nigerians to preach peace, love and unity because this is what Yakowa represented when he was alive.”
He pledged the support of the Federal Government to the immediate family of the deceased.
The President also appealed to leaders to watch their utterances in public and in private.
He said Yakowa died at his appointed time by God, and urged the people to ignore those who are spreading suspicious stories about his death.
Jonathan debunked the purported claim that a section of the religious divide in the state rejoiced over the death of Yakowa.
He noted that former Head of State, Maj.-Gen Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, had cancelled his 70th birthday in honour of Yakowa.
The President also called on Governor Yero to ignore those advocating the politics of exclusion in the state.
He said, “Do not be tempted by what the wicked people claimed: that the Muslims have taken back what belong to them.
“The politics of exclusion should be reversed for a creation of a just and even society.”