Nigerian governor dies in helicopter crash

Posted Dec 15, 2012 by Larry Clifton
The governor of Nigeria's state of Kaduna, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, died when the helicopter he was a passenger in crashed in Bayelsa, an oil-rich state in the southern region.
Crash scene
Crash scene
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Reuters reports that Bayelsa police spokesman Fidelis Odunna has confirmed the aircraft went down in Ogbia Creek but released no details on the passenger manifest or additional casualties.
An aide to Yakowa said the governor had been killed in the crash, however asked that his own name not be released.
Nigeria has 36 state governors who carry much political weight in Africa's biggest oil producing nation, often overseeing budgets that are larger than many African countries.
Local residents said several high-profile politicians had traveled to Bayelsa, President Goodluck Jonathan's home state, this weekend for a funeral. Jonathan was not in Bayelsa at the time of the crash, the presidency said.
Nigeria has a poor air safety record and in March the country’s deputy police chief and three other officers died in a chopper crash in the central city of Jos.
A passenger plane crashed into a densely populated part of Lagos in June killing 163 people in the plane and on the ground.