Daily Trust (Abuja)

20 December 2012

Nigeria: Yero - How Aides Pitched Yakowa Against Me

Photo: This Day
New Kaduna Governor Ramalan Yero

Kaduna — Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero yesterday gave an account of how he was chosen to be deputy governor for the late Patrick Yakowa in 2010 and how commissioners later on created a chasm between him and his boss.

Yero was sworn in on Sunday following the death of Yakowa in a helicopter crash that also killed five others on Saturday in Bayelsa State.

Speaking at a valedictory state executive council session in honour of the late governor, Yero also said he reconciled with his former boss just two weeks ago.

"Two weeks ago, it was me and him alone, my late boss told me that commissioners and some civil servants told him that I'm complaining that I'm not being carried along in the government," the governor said.

"I told him that I don't have any link with the commissioners, we only meet during executive council meetings. I also told him if he continued to listen to them, we will not work with him well."

Yero said they resolved to disregard the commissioners and forge ahead.

"I told him I'll always consider him as my father and he told me he will always see me as his brother. I told him that the misunderstanding was as a result of communication gap. I also told him I was more closer (sic) to him when I was commissioner than when I was deputy governor," he said.

"Before we parted that day, he told me that I should always let him know if I have anything in mind. I also told him that he should always look at my age and my experience compared to his. I parted away with my late boss without any rancor."

In May 2010, following the appointment of then-Governor Namadi Sambo as vice president and Yakowa's elevation to the position of governor, Yero was chosen to become deputy governor.

Yero, a political protégé of the vice president, was widely seen as a Sambo imposition on Yakowa.

But he said yesterday Yakowa willingly picked him to become his deputy.

"When my late boss became governor I went to congratulate him in his house along with one other commissioner at that time. When we were (leaving), he called me back and brought out a sheet of paper containing names of six persons from his pocket. He showed me, I saw my name and those of two other members of the state executive council," he said.

"He told me that the list was given to him as an advice in the event he wants to chose his deputy. My late boss said even if my name was not on the list, he will pick me because he doesn't want the Vice President to take me away from Kaduna state.

"I told him that if Allah wanted us to work together, we will. So I went back and I joined the people we went with. I did not tell them what we discussed."

He said few days after, he was formally notified of his selection to become deputy governor.

Yero also extolled the virtues of Yakowa, saying his late boss was a very patient leader and that this was the secret of his success.

He assured the family of the late governor that the state government will take care of them.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Birnin Gwari Alhaji Jibril Zubair has denied the report that emirs have endorsed Yakowa's widow Amina for appointment as deputy governor.

In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Zubair said he was the only emir at the Government House on Sunday from 10am to 3pm and that he did not say anything about endorsing her.

"This clarification became necessary, because I have been inundated with phone calls from many of my associates and well wishers when the news story was published on Monday. I only submitted a letter of condolence on behalf of Jama'atu Nasril Islam to the deceased's family," he said.

"Southern Kaduna elders led by General Zamani Lekwot also met him at the Government House, where they canvassed for peace in Kaduna State. The issue of deputy governorship never featured throughout when I was in Government House."

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