Southern Kaduna people in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria have commenced the search for a new deputy governor of the state following the sudden death of their kinsman, Governor Patrick Yakowa in a helicopter crash on Saturday in Bayelsa State.
Former Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero was yesterday sworn-in as Governor of Kaduna State, after the death of Yakowa.
P.M.NEWS learnt today that series of meetings had been held to resolve the confusion over who becomes the deputy governor of the state. Though indigenes of Southern Kaduna are yet to come out of the shock that greeted the sudden demise of Yakowa, the first indigene of the area to become governor since Kaduna State was created in 1967, a frantic search has begun for a new deputy governor. Yakowa was also the first Christian to become governor from the Christian-dominated Southern Kaduna.
Among the notable politicians being considered for the position of deputy governor of the state are the former Minister of Aviation, Hassan Hyat; Senator Isaiah Balat, former Minister of Power; Nuhu Wyah; Principal Private Secretary to the late Yakowa, Yohanna Allah Mateni; the current Chief of Staff, Aboki Galadima; Special Adviser to the late Yakowa on Religious Matters (Christian), Rev. John Joseph Hayab and former House of Representatives member, Jonathan Asake.
P.M.NEWS gathered that whoever emerges as the deputy governor will be determined by three political camps in the state. They are the camps of Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi as well as the late Governor Yakowa.
Since the Vice President is the holder of the highest political office in the state now and also the political godfather of the new governor, the belief is that he will wield a lot of influence in the choice of a new deputy for his 44-year old political godson, Yero.
The new governor was Sambo’s former Director of Finance in his Nalado business empire and Commissioner of Finance when he was the Kaduna State governor between 2007 and 2010.
Senator Makarfi as the most influential politician in the state and the governor when Yakowa served as deputy governor under him could also use his influence and relationship with the southern Kaduna indigenes to pick one of his loyalists as deputy governor.
P.M.NEWS investigation revealed that associates of the late Yakowa appeared to have joined forces with the Makarfi camp as some of the contenders were seen hovering around him yesterday during the swearing-in ceremony of the new governor.
If Makarfi’s influence is anything to be reckoned with, the likes of former Aviation Minister, Hassan Hyat and Yohanna Allah Mateni, the current Chief Press Secretary and former commissioner under Makarfi, could emerge.
Investigations also revealed that associates of Vice President Sambo are apprehensive of any of Makarfi’s former aides being picked because of political calculations over the 2015 governorship election. They are said to prefer a neutral and loyal person emerging as deputy governor.
If this is the case, former Minister of Power, Nuhu Wya, a friend and former classmate of the Vice President, Senator Isaiah Balat and former House of Representatives member, Jonathan Asake, both members of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation could be chosen.
But the latest feelers
got this morning revealed that Yohanna Allah Mateni, Jonathan Asake, Kaduna State PDP chairman, Ambassador Nuhu Bajogo and Hassan Hyat are the most likely candidates to emerge as deputy governor.