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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Late Gov. Patrick Yakowa’s One Year Memorial Anniversary – Deception and Hypocrisy of Governance



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Life at best is very brief,
Like the falling of a leaf,
Like the binding of a sheaf:
Be in time!
Fleeting days are telling fast
That the die will soon be cast,
And the fatal line be passed:
Be in time!
SS & S HYMN 437
It is well over a year since our beloved and detribalized former
governor of Kaduna State the late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa CON was
brutally called to eternal rest in a helicopter Crash in the Creeks of
Bayelsa State on 15th December, 2012. He died along the former Chief
of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and National Security
Adviser (NSA) Gen Owoeye Andrew Azazi CFR, his bossom friend late Mr
Dauda Tsoho and the crew members of the aircraft. After his death, he
was succeeded by the present Governor Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero who
was his deputy and in line with the articles and contents of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
At his swearing-in ceremony on the 16th December, 2012, Gov Yero told
the whole world that he will continue with the legacies of the late
Gov Sir Patrick Yakowa. He has since used any opportunity at most
public fora to re-iterate his resolve to pursue the Yakowa’s agenda.
Gov Mukhtar Yero repeated this undertaking on Saturday the 14th
December, 2013 at the Memorial lectures organized by the late Gov Sir
Patrick Yakowa’s family in commemoration of one year remembrance
anniversary of his demise.
His Excellency Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero accompanied the
Vice-president Arc Namadi Sambo to the occasion. There are however
some issues that I would like to raise concerning this continuous
reiteration of Gov Yero to pursue this voluntary pledge he has
undertaken viz :
1. Since Gov Yero took over the governance of the state over a year
ago, virtually all on-going projects in the State as at the time of
Gov Yakowa’s death ( especially in Southern Kaduna ) have come to
2. Some people / individuals who are widely known to have been against
late Gov Yakowa’s (and by extension Gov Yero since he was his running
mate) election as Governor of Kaduna States in April, 2011 are now
known to be friends of Gov Yero even at the expense and general
interest of the people they are supposed to represent. They form a
high percentage of his newly appointed Commissioners in his cabinet
especially those from Zone 3 Senatorial District.
3. Since his famed pronouncement and lamentation of the roles played
by members of Yakowa’s cabinet in convincing the late Yakowa to
marginalize and antagonize him until two weeks before Yakowa’s death
when they reconciled, he has since got the Speaker of the Kaduna State
House of Assembly and Principal officers impeached for their supposed
loyalty to the late Gov Yakowa only to be replaced by Gov Ramalan
Yero’s loyalists, the cabinet inherited from late Gov Yakowa was
initially reshuffled and few months later dissolved and a new one
reconstituted. The governor has the constitutional right and
peregotive to do so but one expects it to be done discreetly and in
consultation with the wishes of a vast majority of the electorates and
in line with his pronouncement as affects the Yakowa’s legacy. It is
quite intriguing that contrary to his vow to continue with Yakowa’s
legacy, Gov Yero did not find one single late Yakowa’s cabinet
appointee suitable to retain in the present State’s cabinet. A clear
manifestation of an act of double standard indeed!
4. On the occasion of the one year anniversary of Yakowa’s death, one
gentleman ( I do not know him neither does he know me ) who stood out
as a good example of loyalty personified is Hon Usman Ibrahim
(Sardauna Badarawa) a former Interim Chairman Kaduna North LGA. He
took a full page advertorial in Leadership Newspaper Monday December
16, 2013 at page 25 where he eulogized the late Yakowa. He has earned
my deepest respects and I am sure that of many others within and
outside the state as opposed to the other remaining 22 former LGAs
Interim Chairmen appointed by Yakowa who could only manage half a page
advertorial that clearly showed loyalty and remembrance in gross
deficit – what a big shame!
The Deputy Governor, His Excellency Amb Nuhu Audu Bajoga also took a
full page advertorial to eulogize the deceased side by side another
full page for his principal Gov Yero. I commend him for being true to
both the deceased Gov Yakowa and to the present Gov Mukhtar Ramalan
Yero – that is how decent leaders should behave. However, with due
respect to the Deputy governor, I have no quarrel with his
congratulatory message to Gov Mukhtar Yero on his ( Deputy ) and
family behalf but I am not sure many people will agree with him
congratulating the governor on behalf of the entire people of Kaduna
state. A people already so pauperized, bereft of social and
infrastructural amenities and unaware of the direction for which their
government is headed even after one year in office. I do know the
Takad people and many other Southern Kaduna communities who have lost
their loved ones, many permanently maimed and property destroyed
through incessant Fulani night and now broad daylight attacks without
government coming to their rescue nor ensuring that the culprits who
have on many occasions been apprehended and handed over to the
authority are made to face the full wrath of the law. What we have
rather continuously witnessed is that these same killers are set free
and are roaming the streets not only free but given more audacity to
perpetrate more harm than previous ones, would have no cause to
congratulate a governor who heads a government that is unconcerned
about their safety. So also the people of Birnin Gwari, who have also
suffered attacks without any guarantee of security or reasonable
welfare succour coming their way.
Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union also took a full page advert in Daily
Trust Monday December 16, 2013 page 13 signed by Dr Ephraim Goje as
President and Mr Adamu Marshal as Secretary to eulogize the late
Yakowa. I commend them.
It is however sad and hypocrital for one Hon ( ? ) Ibrahim Ali,
Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Education using our scarce state
resources I suppose to carried a full page advertorial barely less
than 3 weeks of assumption of office as a Commissioner caption, “
Congratulatory Message to the Youth Governor ‘’ in which he claimed
the governor has:-
a. Constructed 136 units of a block of 3 bedrooms across the State.
b. The training of all English, Maths and core Science teachers
(whatever that mean!)
c. The provision of science and vocational equipment to schools.
d. Recent recruitment of 1802 teachers and release of scholarship
allowances to the state’s students in tertiary institutions. There is
no dispute on the fact that the governor is youthful compared to his
other counterparts like Martin Elechi of Ebonyi and David Jonah Jang
of Plateau States. What will one say about Alhaji Kashim Shettima of
Borno State who is not only younger than our governor but has the
burden of administering a state that is Boko Haram infested but has
despite all that acquitted himself admirably? Moreover, in a country
with a life expectancy of 47 years, how can a 45 year old man be
considered as youthful? I do strongly believe it is an act of great
disservice to waste tax payers’ money in singing praises of a governor
for constructing a paltry 136 block of flats in a State with over 7
million people. Assuming that this is true, how much was voted for
such projects, how much was expended and what is the standard of the
execution? What is the equitability of the distribution of such
projects? What is the duty of government by the way if not to do that
and more? Did the Honourable Commissioner sample the opinions of the
youths before going to press or out of sycophancy arrogated himself
the monopoly of speaking for the youths in Kaduna state so as to get
something to ‘’ chop ‘’? People like Hon Ibrahim Ali make governance
difficult for otherwise good leaders if appropriately advised, by
their penchant to sing praises even when such is uncalled for. Let
them help the governor by giving him useful advice on how to move the
state forward.
I am really disappointed with most of the bunch of visible key
appointees of Yakowa from Southern Kaduna who could not muster enough
loyalty to make the pages of newspapers awashed with One year memorial
messages in remembrance of a man who made them relevant. Same goes to
our elected representatives both at the national and state levels. Let
us give our individual interpretations to Dr Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter
to her father Gen Olusegun Obasanjo as affects us in Southern Kaduna,
in which she wrote, ‘’ Nigeria has descended into a hellish reality
where smart capable people ( in order ) to ‘’ survive ‘’ and have
their daily bread, prostrate to imbeciles . Everybody ( is ) trying to
pull everybody else down with greed and selfishness – the only traits
that gets you anywhere. Money must be had and money and power is king.
Even the supposed down – trodden agree with this. They could still be
true to late Yakowa and be equally be loyal to the Gov Yero without
In all this, Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Alhaji
Mukhtar Ramalan Yero never deemed it fit to take even a quarter page
advertorial to remember late Governor Yakowa or use the occasion of
the one year anniversary via the use of the electronic media to
sensitize the citizenry on the need to shun religious, ethnic and
other sentimental considerations as exemplified by the late Gov
Yakowa.. This reminds me of the time tested words of Abraham Lincoln,
“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend”. Gov
Ramalan Yero is gradually destroying all that late Gov Yakowa built
and stood for under guise of continuing with his legacies and thus
proving Abraham Lincoln right..Could this be a farce to convince
Southern Kaduna people that though their son is dead, his legacies
live on courtesy of Gov Yero continuity agenda? I want to advise him
to discard the idea of Yakowa’s policy and be his own man by
administering the state prudently, fairly, equitably and with justice
and he will be surprise to see the amount of surport he will have all
over the state. Let him abide by this powerful advice, ‘’ To move
forward , you must focus on things ahead and not behind for ‘ the
voyager’s path is marked by the stars and not by the sand dunes ‘’ (
Nilotic proverb ). All discerning minds know the truth and should
therefore not be afraid to speak it out whenever our leaders step out
of line. Even the purchasing of so-called Christmas rice worth over
N108m using money from the State coffers is not in the interest of
Christians nor the State. The reason for Christmas should be the cause
for Christians celebrating and not “Greek gifts” that will further
impoverish the already poor people of the State. After all, the money
belongs to Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Atheist etc and any act of
favouritism to any religious group ( s ) including Christians of which
I am a proud adherent is injustice and God will no doubt punish the
perpetrators ( both the givers and recipients ) accordingly. That
money should have been used to develop the state and not to recircle
it among those who already have it either fair or foul. Christ was
born in a manger and He came to earth out of God’s love for mankind to
atone for our sins and not to turn us into rice eating rogues.
Some of us will continue to speak against the ills inherent
in the governance of this State by our leaders not because we harbour
hatred against the government or individuals. Contrary to beliefs in
some quarters, I am neither sponsored or have a hidden agenda. One is
persuaded to do so as to facilitate a new dawn to set in our present
“all movement without motion.” Kaduna State. We had similar type of ‘’
standstill ‘’ governance during the nearly three years that Arc Namadi
Sambo was on the saddle as governor of Kaduna state and now his godson
is replicating that again. We saw proper planning, governance and
development during former Gov Makarfi’s period and also the two and a
half years of the late Yakowa. It may interest one to know that none
of them knows / knew me and up till today I have never seen Sen
Makarfi with my eyes. But good legacies are worthy of commendation nor
matter how much you may not like the individual. Moreover, I have no
cause to dislike the handsome governor Alhaji Ramalan Yero outside
disagreeing with his style of governance of our dear state.
Perhaps the timeless words of Alexander the Great would henceforth
serve as the new motto of our governor, ” I had rather excel others
in knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and
dominion ” – Alexander the Great. Power of dominion should be
subordinated to excelling others (citizens of Kaduna state) in
knowledge of what is excellent will make legends and icons out of our
May the gentle soul of late Gov sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa find
eternal rest as the Lord comforts the family, the state and mankind in
Long live Southern Kaduna!
Long live Kaduna State!!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Maj George Nchok Asake (rtd)
Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum (SKIPFo

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