One year after the tragic death of her husband in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State, Dame Amina Yakowa, widow of former Kaduna State governor, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, yesterday disclosed that life had been most challenging and full of physical and emotional trauma.
“The past one year was the most challenging in my entire 60 years of existence. It has been full of physical and emotional trauma”, she was quoted as saying.
Mrs. Yakowa spoke yesterday at the thanksgiving mass in honour of her late husband held at St. John’s Catholic Church, Tafawa Balewa Way, Kaduna.
According to the former Kaduna State First Lady, something very simple could easily trigger a painful wave of emotion, “but in every of these situations, God was always there for us and I now understand why God said we should give Him thanks and praise in every situation”.
Recalling her experience at the news of the death of her husband, she said, “My brothers and sisters, God is worthy to be praised! On that fateful day of December 15, 2012, at 1pm when I received the news of the death of my husband, my first request to God in prayer was His sufficient Grace. This Grace that He has given me has sustained me and the entire family throughout the year.
“That Saturday, was the darkest day of my life and it seemed as if the life of the entire family had come to an end. Our light was completely put out. It was like a wall shielding us had collapsed, but God reminded me that He is present, active and in – charge.
“Whatever challenges, pain, trials and tribulations we are faced with right now, Jesus is not only with us, He is within us. When we cast our burden on Him and remember the words of St. Paul in Rom. 8:38-39, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor power, nor height, nor depths, nor any other creature will separate us from the love of God in Christ. In the course of these 12 months, many scriptures have given me hope and I will forever find my comfort in the word of God”, Mrs. Yakowa said.
Extolling the virtues of her husband, Mrs. Yakowa said that he was God-fearing and a good husband, father, grandfather, in-law, brother and friend, noting that he was simple, decent, sincere and dedicated to his faith.
“In the course of his career, he was upright; he was a man of conscience who believed in justice and fairness. He was accessible and related with everyone irrespective of religion, tribe or race. Little wonder he was fondly called NAKOWA”, she noted.
Mrs. Yakowa also said that though her husband is no more, his tenets and legacies live on and will continue to remain with us, stressing that her husband loved God so much that he never did anything to compromise his faith and expressed confidence that her husband is resting with the Lord.
“Yakowa preached peace, unity and development throughout his life, and believed that politics is a call to service from God; hence his belief that it should be played with the fear of God.
“Yakowa made history in his life, Kaduna State and the country. He represented the kind of leader Nigerians need today; a leader that was accepted by people across ethnic and religious boundaries. One thing is certain; Yakowa did his best in terms of achievement for Kaduna State.
“He would have loved to do more, but God had other plans for him. He sowed a good seed that my family will forever reap bountifully as can be attested to by the tremendous goodwill we have enjoyed since he went to be with the Lord”.
While thanking President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan; Vice President Namadi Sambo and his wife, Amina; Senate President David Mark, Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Governor Ramalan Yero, Deputy Governor Nuhu Bajoga and wives of Nigerian governors, Dame Amina said Yakowa always told her that everything is temporal.
She, therefore, enjoined politicians to play politics the Yakowa way.
Emotions ran high when Amina requested the church to sing a song titled, “Lord, make us instruments of your peace”, in honour of her late husband, a song of prayer she said was Yakowa’s favourite when he was alive.
The service was attended by dignitaries and thousands of well-wishers, who were beautifully adorned in tee-shirts with emblazoned with the picture of the late governor, while videos of the life and times the late Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa were also distributed.