Today, we gather here to honour a true hero of the Ijaw Nation. We are here to pay our deepest respect to a great leader and national icon. For us in Bayesla State, the tragic, unfortunate and untimely death of General Andrew Owoye Azazi (CFRC) has created a huge vacuum that would be very difficult to fill. We have not only lost a kinsman, big brother, father, grandfather, friend and colleague; the Ijaw Nation has clearly lost one of its finest and very best! He was a patriot who gave his all!
That is why, as a government, we did not hesitate to declare him as a true hero of Ijaw land and one who is deserving of a heroic burial as his remains will be the first to be interred at the Heroes Park – an exclusive burial/final resting place reserved only for all true legends and heroes of the State. The Heroes Park, where General Azazi will be buried is a fitting tribute to his person and bears eloquent testimonies to the proud legacies and ideals that he was known and admired for. It will also serve as a constant reminder of his unblemished and outstanding record of service to the State and Nation.
To the wonderful family that he left behind, please be rest assured that our prayers will always be with you and you can count on our continued support and co- operation.
Truly, we have lost a visionary leader and statesman and there may be no greater tribute to General Azazi’s illustrious military career than the fact that he was a first class military officer, who rose through the ranks as a professional soldier and duly earned his place in the history of the Nigerian Army as the only decorated four star general who truly earned his rank. Upon his retirement from the army, he was appointed the National Security Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position which further endeared him to the public as a thorough- bred intelligence officer with an uncommon insight. Undoubtedly, he left an indelible mark of service in this regard with a remarkable performance.
His career in the military was, no doubt, a feat and clearly he will be remembered as one of the most distinguished and outstanding officers of the Nigerian Army. And as the accolades continue to pour in to celebrate his noble stewardship from different quarters, we are further assured that General Azazi was really extraordinary, combining an enviable leadership character with a legacy of service and patriotism.
My family and I send our profound thoughts and prayers to General Azazi’s wife Alero, his children and grand children, to all members of his immediate and extended families and his loved ones.
General Andrew Owoye Azazi, an officer and a worthy gentleman, has finished his race but certainly his good deeds will remain in our hearts until we meet to part no more.
May the Almighty God grant our dear general eternal repose. Amen.