On Thursday 20th May 21, 2010 His Excellency Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa was inaugurated as the 20th Governor of Kaduna state. Yakowa who assumed the post to fill the vacuum created as a result of the ascension of the former Governor of Kaduna state Namadi Sambo to the position of Vice-President of Nigeria hails from Fadan-Kagoma in Jema’a Local Government Area and is the first civilian governor of the state from the southern part. He is also the first Christian to become the Governor of the predominantly Moslem state.62-year-old Yakowa has at different times been a permanent secretary at state and federal levels, a state commissioner, a minister Secretary to Kaduna State Government (SSG) before he was made the Deputy Governor to then Governor Ahmed Makarfi on July 23, 2005. He was later retained by his former boss in 2007, until recent events placed him at the helm of affairs in the state. In his inaugural speech at General Hassan Usman Katsina House, shortly after he was sworn-in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Rahila Cudjo, the governor stressed that said the state government would pursue the sustenance of peace, equity and justice, while ensuring that no citizen of the state was subjected to any form of threat, intimidation and discrimination, irrespective of his religious belief.
Whilst some Islamic groups are not particularly pleased with the emergence of a Christain as Governor of the state, Yakowa has assured that his administration will not favour Christains at the expense of any other religion. In his inaugural speech he said “Please note that I am not a Christian Governor. I am a Governor for all, irrespective of religious or tribal affiliation.”
The recent turn of events in Kaduna may have long term consequences on Kaduna politics as there are questions as to whether the ruling party PDP will continue with its zoning agreement and choose someone from zone 2 where the former Governor Namadi Sambo hailed to contest for the election or make adjustments to the rotational arrangement so as to allow the substantiate Governor contest as the party’s candidate in the Gubernatorial elections in 2011?
In the meantime serious politicking has started in the state as many are contending for the position of Deputy Governor. Those being nominated for the post by the PDP caucus are Commissioner for Finance Ramalan Yero, Commissioner for Information Saidu Adamu and the state PDP Vice-Chairman Hussaini Jallo, who is also the Special Adviser on Politics to Sambo.
Apart from the PDP caucus, other interest groups are pushing for the candidature of the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Bashir Idris Aliyu, former gubernatorial candidate Lawal Yakawada and Adamu Jampalan of the Federal Inland Waterways Authority.