The well attended final funeral service for the deceased was held at St Paul’s Catholic Church in his hometown, Fadan Kagoma in the southern part of Kaduna State on Thursday.
President Goodluck Jonathan was one of the sympathizers who attended the service. Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar too was in attendance. The President was supported by Governors including Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Dr Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State.
Senate President, David Mark left the passage of the 2013 budget to attend the funeral, so also did the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. . The Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur too was in Fadan Kagoma for the funeral. Others at the event were Col Sabo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser and Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister for Finance. Chief Solomon Lar too was there, he described Yakowa as a “bridge builder”.
Before the service, Mrs Yakowa had tried to console the tearful crowd of mourners that gathered at the family’s residence. She said in Hausa “God knows why this happened to us at this time, so let us give thanks to God Almighty”. Most of the sympathizers broke down on sighting the casket that bore the remains of their beloved Governor as it was moved to the church for the final farewell.
The service opened with the hymn “It is Well With My Soul” while Caroline, the deceased’s daughter took the first reading from the bible.
After the service, the casket containing the remains of the Governor, covered with the national flag was moved to his house where a lying in state took place. Men of the Nigerian Army were on hand to also honour the departed Governor.
Before the interment, the flag was removed, neatly folded and handed over to Governor Yero who handed it over to Mrs. Yakowa. That was followed by a 21-gun salute with which the army bade the Late Governor farewell.
The body was lowered into the grave in his compound while the widow and children performed dust to dust rites.
While speaking at the funeral, the new Governor of Kaduna State, Ramalan Yero extolled the virtues of his late boss, describing him as a honest and thorough person. He promised to complete all the projects initiated by his late boss. “As much as I am pained by the demise of my former boss, I am consoled by the fact that we reconciled and resolved our differences before he died”, he said.The Governor thereafter stated that his boss left a legacy of peace and he therefore urged everyone to eschew religious crisis in the whole of Kaduna State.
President Goodluck Jonathan described the late Yakowa as a “nationalist”. He said “Yakowa played his part very well in the civil service, he had the discipline, the character of the civil service. Not the civil service of today where Directors have more hoses than Dangote. He played his part well in this world.” The President urged political office holders to emphasize more on the things that “unite us as a nation and de-emphasize those things that divide us”.