From NOAH EBIJE, ABDULGAFAR ALABELEWE and NAFISAT BELLO, Kaduna
It was meant to be a valedictory session, but it turned out to be a period of assessment, as the newly sworn-in Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero yesterday tongue-lashed the state commissioners, insisting they could not begin to accord him the respect he was never accorded as deputy governor. Yero’s outburst is a confirmation of the story earlier published by Daily Sun, to the effect that Yero was never accorded his due regard by other members of the State Executive Council, while he was the deputy governor.
And it is a further confirmation that all the members of the state executive council would give way for new set of appointees. Speaking at a valedictory session as part of last respect for the final interment of late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa today in his home town, Fadan Kagoma, Governor Yero said he felt disappointed the way and manner some members of the state executive went as far as blackmailing him before Yakowa.
According to him, Yakowa called him before he was appointed as deputy governor and showed a list of six people contesting for the position and asked for his advice on whom to pick. “I told him to allow the spirit of God in him to lead him and he thanked me and I left”, adding that Yakowa once called him to tell him that some people had asked him (Yakowa) to remove him as deputy governor. He said further that some people, including commissioners and civil servants also went to Yakowa to complain about him, blackmailing him in the process and expressed gratitude to God that he had resolve whatever differences they had before his death.
Yero said that two weeks ago, Yakowa called him, where they both laid the grievances on the table and trashed them, resolving to work better together for the development of the state, adding that, “I told him that I was closer to him as commissioner for Finance than as deputy governor and that it was not supposed to be so. “Yakowa called me about two weeks ago, and I am happy that we resolved our differences, but some of the commissioners never wanted us to be one.”
He also used the occasion to appeal to Yakowa’s widow, Amina to feel free and call on him whenever she needed state assistance, even as he promised that the state would officially cater for Yakowa’s family. For the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Lawal Sumaila Yakawada: “I met Yakowa when I did not know him in Zaria when he was building a house in Zaria about 30 years ago, I became close to him when he was the commissioner for Commerce. He guided me in all my doings, he taught me patience and that he saw me as a son and not Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
My relationship with him was 70 per cent personal and 30 per cent official. He was absolutely thorough with incontestable patience, beliefs in God and encourages me to always do so. “He said 2013 should be a year that the people of Kaduna State should not forget. We are all sitting here by the grace of God and the help of Late Yakowa, we will carry through the foundations he laid, and he wanted one Kaduna State.” Also, members of the State House of Assembly held a valedictory session for Yakowa, where the Speaker, Muazu Usman Gangara, described him as a good man, who never intruded in the affairs of the Assembly.
The Speaker said: “Death is an inevitable act, Sir Yakowa was a very good man and he had never intruded in our affairs in the House of Assembly, and he had never condemned our work, not even once, he always said to us we should live in peace and interact with the people and bring to them what will benefit them in peace.” “He is a man of truth, we will look for a place to place his name in our state because he was a legend, so he must be remembered forever so as people who want to emulate from his good work can follow through his steps.
“I want to assure that her Excellency, Mrs. Yakowa and her children will be the responsibility of the state government, as long as I remain the governor of the state. I will make them comfortable, you can call me anytime as your son and ask for whatever and I will do it.”