The burial of former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi (rtd), who died alongside former Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick Yakowa on the 15th of December took place on Saturday in Yenagoa.
Azazi was buried at the new National Heroes Park, close to the Ijaw House along the Sani Abacha Expressway, Yenagoa in a funeral attended by personalities including President Goodluck Jonathan.
He was showered with glowing tributes and tears flowed as he was being interred.
However, only two governors, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta were in attendance. His Peretongbere community also boycotted the funeral.
A Nigerian Army ambulance marked NA451 E01 brought in the casket bearing Azazi’s remains into the venue of the funeral at Peace Park at 10am.
Jonathan, accompanied by his wife Patience, arrived at the venue after the casket had been laid in state, but left immediately after the 5-hour service.
In his tribute, the President said, “If Nigerians change their attitude, you’ll realize that most of the issues attributed to corruption aren’t even about corruption. Recently, I met with the officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps and I was informed that majority of the accidents happen on good roads. So you see, it is not about corruption, but about people’s attitude.
Jonathan, who left before the interment described Azazi as a selfless Nigerian that served his country wholly.
“If 50% of Nigerians privileged to be in top offices had behaved like Azazi, this country would change.”
While speaking, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor called Azazi a man of integrity.
“A great man has gone, but one thing that stood out about him was his integrity. Greatness is not about what you have, but what you do with what you have.”
The Minister of Petroleum, Dieziani Allison-Madueke, who spoke on behalf of the Federal Executive Council, said Azazi was a thorough strategic analyst, saying “a big tree had fallen in Ijaw land.”
In his tribute, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieut-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika said that Azazi kick-started the transformation of the Nigerian Army.
He said way back when he was a colonel, he and a few others had adopted Azazi as their role model in both service and private life.
Personalities at the funeral included the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieut-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika.
Meanwhile, the Rives State Governor Rotimi Amaechi on Saturday named the Nkpogu Road undergoing dualization in Port-Harcourt after Azazi.
He also said that the state would sponsor an award, chair or prize in his honour in a reputable institution.
“On Monday, I shall erect a signboard that will change Nkpogu Road to Gen Andrew Owoye Azazi Road,” he said.
Govrnor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State directed his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah to liaise with the military and explore ways of immortalizing Azazi.
He also said a befitting edifice and memorial lecture shall be named after the late general even as he had directed the Ijaw History Project to document the life and times of Gen Azazi alongside those of Isaac Adaka Boro, Harold Dappa Biriye and other living and head Ijaw heroes.