Prominent Nigerians including Vice President Namadi Sambo Saturday poured encomiums on the former governor of Kaduna State, late Patrick Yakowa,
Yakowa who was described as a man of the people and a bridge builder died in a helicopter crash on December 15, 2013 in Bayelsa state.
Sambo who attended the lecture along with the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Governor Martins Elechi of Ebonyi state, Bauchi state governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda and some traditional rulers described the late Yakowa a bridge builder who built bridges across all divides.
According to the Vice President, Yakowa offered selfless and patriotic service to Kaduna state and the nation at large, stressing that he dedicated his live to the progress of mankind.
He added that late governor will forever remain dear in the memory of the people with the exemplary life he lived.
“He will be best remembered for his accommodating posture, his benevolence, love for peace, tolerance sense of unity and purposefulness as well as humility which earned him the title Yakowa na Kowa (a man of the people)
“Yakowa was a bridge builder who builds bridges across divides and he distinguished himself in all human endeavours” Sambo said.
Also paying glowing tribute to his late boss, the Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero maintained Yakowa was a man of peace and rapid transformation.
According to him, the memories of his late boss keeps on resonating in “our hearts as well as in all our official activities.”
Yakowa, according to Yero was “a man of the people, an apostle of peace and rapid transformation and sustainable development. We will continue to miss him dearly.
“As his successor, the best way to immortalise him is by sustaining his virtues. Soon after we assumed office after his tragic, death I made a solemn pledge to carry on with the programmes initiated by my late boss.
“My late boss initiated projects and programmes in the 2013 budgets which he presented to the state house of assemble before he died.
“I make bold to say that we have religiously implemented the 2013 budget and no single project initiated by the governor has been abandon by this administration and we do not intend to abandon any.To us, the best way to immortalise him, is to complete all the projects he initiated.
“I shall continue to remain loyal to Yakawa even in his absence. He taught me so much during the time we worked together. The lessons I learned from him are still fresh in my memory and I shall always draw from his example in moving the state forward.
“I will not deviate from the noble cause of justice and equity to all citizens of Kaduna state. He was a great leader and a mentor to many” Yero said.
Also speaking in the same vein, Governor Martins Elechi and his Bauchi state counter, Mallam Isa Yuguda and the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, urged Nigerians to emulate the good virtues of the late governor.
According to Elechi, “Patrick Yakowa came on stage as a leader of his people. I knew him during our interactions at the governors’ forum. He was a consummate gentleman.
“What is most important is not recounting his good qualities, it not bemoaning his passage, but to try to emulate the things he did and the way he did them. We can only immortalise him by emulating those qualities he stood for”.
On his part, Yuguda declared that the late governor was one of the most humble people he ever came across in his life.
“Yakowa was a bridge builder and a lover of humanity, a man of God who worked for the unity of Kaduna state, the north and Nigeria.
“I know Yakowa in the 90s when I was a managing director in the bank and he was serving as permanent secretary in the federal civil service. Since then, he took me as his younger brother and we were close.
“Yakowa was a man of humility; he was one of the most humble human beings I ever came across” he said.
Earlier, the guest lecturer at the occasion, Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu in his paper titled “Challenges of Responsible leadership in Nigeria” maintained that Yakowa was a leader, a gentleman, a builder of peace and a developer of bridges for reconciliations and forgiveness.
He added that Kaduna State and Nigeria at large have lost a leader who was simple, sincere and honest, trustworthy and determined to economically move the state forward.