By Israel Bulus
Few months after he was sworn-in as governor of Kaduna State after the demised of his boss, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in a chopper crash in Nembe, Bayelsa state14 Dec 2012, Murktar Ramalan Yero mapped out plans for his reelection bid to include violence in 2015.
ELANZA NEWS gathered from documents how a consultant engaged to do the dirty work for his reelection advised the governor to sack all commissioners that served under the Yakowa’s government.
The sacking was to be done with tact and should begin with swapping of the commissioners before the final sack. Such has been successfully achieved. The second plan was to cause crises and changed the leadership of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, another plan that has also been achieved.
The plans in a government house letter head with Reference No. KDGH/CONV/018/13 dated 17th April, 2013 signed by Yero’s then Principal Private Secretary, Samaila Aliyu ordered Albarka Consult to go ahead with the plan of action on how to “capture” Kaduna especially Zone 3 in the 2015 election.
The consultant recommended the immediate change of the leadership of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Cabinet reshuffle in disguise.
ELANZA MAGAZINE gathered that the PPS, Aliyu Samaila was to be assigning another portfolio, according to the consultant it was the same way late Yakowa did to his PPS Timothy Gandu. Yero implemented it and appointed Aliyu commissioner of Finance.
The consultant proposed that the governor should get some Southern Kaduna Elders to endorse his government as an extension of late Yakowas’. It was recommended that Bawa Magaji, a former commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs who hails from Kufana should be mandated to do the job. The plan was executed with the sponsorship of a two page advertorial in ThisDay Newspapers.
Yero’s adviser on Christians matters Rev John Joseph Yahab who was appointed by late Yakowa, adviser on Science and Technology, Edward Pati were to be sacked while Madami Garba Madami, the then political adviser to Yero whose appointment came through the Vice President Namadi Sambo, was to be appointed a commissioner from Chikun Local government because of “inactiveness”. Pati died as an adviser to Yero.
The proposed sacking of Hayab was shielded because of his closeness to Christian’s clerics.
Yero’s other plans
The consultant proposed that the government under Yero should ensure over registration of voter’s card lists across all wards in the States especially in zone 3, doubtful and friendly areas.
“There should be provision of a secured exclusive place where ballot thumb printing will be done. There should be backup plan to ensure that where necessary Election violence is triggered. Fake Election materials should be secured as a backup. Where necessary, election conduct should run into the night. There should be sudden radio and television announcement of “our own” election result when it’s deemed necessary,” the proposal signed by the principal consultant of Albarka Consult Mallam Zubairu Sani stated.
ELANZA NEWS investigations revealed that the sudden radio and television announcement of “Yero’s own” election result plans have been orchestrated and concealed with the appointment of Mr. Abba Zayan as Zonal Director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.
Abba was an artist (casual staff) at the Kaduna State Radio Corporation (KSMC) but was raised by Namadi Sambo, the then Kaduna State governor to become the Executive Director (Radio Services).
The appointment of “courageous” Abba as FRCN’s Zonal Director by Vice President Namadi Sambo is for the 2015 plans, it was gathered.
Even though governor Yero, through his Spokesman Ahmed Maiyaki denied knowledge of the plans and the document when contacted, the accuracy of the forecast of events and how they have so far been implemented is yet to convince many people, especially a document that was signed by his then PPS now in finance ministry with the same signature.
Discontentment over Yero’s government
Since the creation of the present Kaduna State in 1987, which is a splinter from the defunct North Central State created May 27th, 1967 and later renamed Kaduna State on 5th February, 1976 to its split into Kaduna and Katsina States in 1987, no government activities have faced discontentment like the present administration of Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, ELANZA NEWS gathered.
Kaduna has had many Military Governors and Administrators administering the state leading to the 4th Republic when former Governor Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Makarfi mounted the saddle as governor on 29th May, 1999 to 29th May, 2007.
Even though the State witnessed several religions and ethnic crises leading to the present partial division of the capital city into predominant Christian South and Muslim North with River Kaduna as boundary, Yero’s emergence came with a lot of goodwill which many said he blew within months as governor of Kaduna State.
“Our woes in terms of development and transparency as citizens of this State became pronounced when Arc Namadi Sambo, now Vice – President became Kaduna state governor on 29th May, 2007,” Chairman, Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum (SKIPFo) retired Major George Nchok Asake said.
Asake said Namadi was imposed on the people of Kaduna by Sen. Makarfi even though he had no track record worthy of mention as a public servant, but held the office of Kaduna State governor from 2007 until May, 2010 when he was by divine grace of God elevated to the seat of the Vice – President of Nigeria.
“The Late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa became the governor of the State until his demise through a plane crash on 15th December, 2012. Thus, Gov Mukhtar Ramalan Yero who was his Deputy imposed on him by Arc Namadi Sambo was sworn-in 16th December, 2012. His first pronouncement after he was sworn in, was a promise to continue with late Sir Ibrahim Yakowa’s policies. The second promise was to unite and rule the State equitably but he (Yero) has since reneged on these promises,” Asake recalled.
Asake said if Arc Namadi Sambo was a non performer as governor of Kaduna for the years he held forth, he could not have had a better competitor than Gov Mukhtar Ramalan Yero whom they have conferred with honorary title of “Grand Commander of Infrastructure Deficit (GCID).”
“We did not witness serial night killings of our innocent people in our villages at night during Arc Namadi Sambo’s reign as governor; we rather at least had governance of Billboards achievements. Governor Yero has not only inherited ineptitude of his godfather but he has gone a step further and clearly showed he does not like the people of Southern Kaduna,” Asake added.
The SKIPFo chairman recalled: “On 17th April, 2013 while meeting with Traditional rulers and selected so- called Southern Kaduna stakeholders in Kagoro Town Hall after the Takad Chiefdom people’s massacre and destruction of their homes and property of 30th March, 2013, Yero boasted that he was Fulani by blood and any Southern Kaduna man that touches a Fulani man will have him (as the governor) to reckon with.”
“He there and then directed the Agwan Bajju Mr Nuhu Manya Bature and Agwan Takad Mr Tobias Wada to resettle those Fulanis displaced from their chiefdoms as a result of the Post Presidential Crises. After that, all the numerous attacks that followed in Zangang Takad Chiefdom, Aduwan Gida, Bankwa all in Bajju Chiefdom and others too numerous to mentioned, none has ever invoked the milk of human kindness in Gov Mukhtar Ramalan Yero to visit and commiserate with them. He also applied the same thing to the killings of over 400 people in Bondong District in Kaura LGA and 15 communities in Sanga LGA but visit a scene of a bomb-blast that injured two persons in Asikolaye in Kaduna North LGA. Even when he visited Sanga at last, a woman leader was victimized,” Asake said.
SKIPFo chairman said that having failed to visit and commiserate with other communities in Southern Kaduna who lost their loved ones, valuable property and thousands of destroyed homes, Yero still found it expedient to visit Manchok when a Fulani Ardo and some few Fulanis were killed by angry mob during the attack crises.
“He did not even deem it as a matter of protocol to first of all pay a visit to the Chief of Moroa Mallam Tagwai Sambo within whose domain it happened but first went to the scene of the incident before coming to visit the elderly First Class Traditional Ruler. When a trailer had an accident at Katabu (Marraban Jos) and six people died, all Muslims, Yero went to Katabu for the burial and to commiserate with the people there. The funny part of this visit was that the trailer was on transit through the state and the dead people were not citizens of his State. There is nothing wrong in the governor doing what he did considering our shared humanity. However, it smacks of religious bigotry and disregard to the families of Southern Kaduna people who in various communities were killed in their hundreds without him re – enacting what he did in Katabu,” Asake said.
He revealed that on March 14th 2014, three villages in Bodon District of Moroa Chiefdom were wiped out by gunmen suspected to be heartless Fulani. 148 people were killed, 224 houses burnt and destroyed while properties were also destroyed with several others injured without the governor paying a visit.
“Even his Deputy Amb Nuhu Audu Bajoga, a son of the soil told the same lie until pressured to go more than two weeks after the occurrence. He went and met the people calm and they were happy of his coming and thoughtfulness in going to share with them in their movement of grieves. A paltry sum of N84m has been disbursed to those affected communities and only God knows what that amount will do for them. We wait to see whether Gov Yero will take his campaign to these people since security report has clearly indicated that his life was in danger there,” Asake said.
“To confirm Gov Yero’s penchant to identify with only his Hausa/Fulani people, he exhibited lack of Statesmanship attributes in the aftermath of the violence in Kachia. The governor visited Kachia Thursday 15th May, 2014 to commiserate with his kindred. He even made a pronouncement that whether people liked it or not that the fence would remain where it is supposed to be. There was no security report against his safety in Kachia because those he was visiting were his Muslims kindred as opposed to the Manchok Christians he considers sub – human. There is no need for us to remind the governor that both the Hausa and Fulanis are settlers in Kachia and no governor or government fiat can change this fact. They should also remember that since they do not accord other settlers in their own land any iota of respect and hospitality, they cannot lay claim to right of indigeneship in other people’s ancestral land,” the group said.
“We admitted they are citizens and can own unmovable property there as settlers but they have no right of indigeneship, aspire to the throne of the traditional chiefdom and should therefore respect the customs, tradition and norms of their host communities as are accorded them in their own lands. Let us not forget that our people from Southern Kaduna are denied possession of land, property and residency in Zaria city in contravention of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Not even land is permitted us to build churches as places of our worship.”
“The same Gov Yero who had earlier claimed security reports barred him from going to Manchok or elsewhere in Southern Kaduna to commiserate with families of those killed by his Fulani kinsmen was seen in Kafanchan as reported in page 7 of Leadership Newspaper 3rd Jun holding the tape with Sen Nenadi Usman and Senate President David Mark flagging of Senator Nenadi Usman ‘s shameful empowerment programme. Did Gov Yero enlist the security services of the American Marines or Israelis Mossad to provide him security in a hostile Kafanchan in Southern Kaduna? Asake asked.
He said most of the projects awarded by Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa before his death still remained uncompleted. Nothing seems to move in terms of development and progress in the state under Gov Yero. We were shocked by the doublespeak address made by Gov Yero at the Sen Nenadi Usman empowerment event.
The governor was reported by leadership Newspaper Tuesday, June 3, 2014 page 4 to have said, “Our administration has not and will not dump any projects initiated by regimes before us”. The governor said the state government has made budgetary provision of N8.2billion this year to be expended on funding ongoing roads projects in Southern Kaduna Zone. He said “In Zone 3 alone there are 15 ongoing roads projects that were earmarked for funding in 2014 budget.
While most are at various stages of completion according to Yero, his administration has successfully completed Zonkwa – Yarbam (Yarvan) road, Tum – Madakiya road and the College of Education Gidan-Waya road.
But Asake, while criticizing the governor’s speech, said roads like Manchok – Mabushi – Kagoro, Zonkwa – Yarvam, Fadan Kamantan – Walijo awarded by late Gov Yakowa had budgetary allocations before Yero came in. “What happened to the funds appropriated for the roads that some took years to be commission? Why have they not been completed that the governor has to now lie that he completed these roads when we know some are not? Why would a whole state governor be economical with the truth by telling the world that College of Education Gidan Waya road is completed when you cannot drive comfortably on that same road both in the dry (dust) and rainy (mud) season? “
According to Asake, The same contractor who was awarded the contract for the dualization of KASU’s Kafanchan Campus road, Nok Construction Company Ltd did a very bad job but that the road was already bad and had to be partially rehabilitated.
“We have complained to the Governor in front of witnesses about the poor quality of the road and he said there is nothing he can do. Can the governor be open enough to tell us the 15 roads projects that are appropriated N8.2 billion in the 2014 budget? What we are witnessing in Kaduna state are different abracadabra tricks of different conduits of siphoning our common patrimony into private pockets with sweet nothing talks of service delivery.”
“We in SKIPFo are not in any way fooled and Kaduna State citizens are also not fooled. There will always be a day of reckoning. Moreover Tum – Madakiya road was completed when late Gov Yakowa was still alive. We are also aware that Gov Yero’s government has trickishly tried to misinformed the citizens that debts running into billions of naira incurred during both Arc Namadi Sambo and he Gov Yero were all the handiwork of late Gov Yakowa. SKIPFo has observed with dismay that Gov Yero of Kaduna State does not take kindly to people criticizing his administration no matter how objective such criticisms may be. He finds it difficult to separate his personality from the Kaduna state government. He also uses acerbic words on perceived opponents whom he considers as enemies. If for any reasons he cannot take criticisms with equanimity and ponder over them with a view to making amends where necessary, then he has no business being in public office because as the name implies, the office belongs to the public and the public has the right to have a say on what is theirs,” the group said.
Yero’s exotic Chieftaincy title
SKIPFo said they were concerned that a sitting governor of a State that is polarized along ethnic and religious lines could be so insensitive to the level of receiving a chieftaincy title from one of the several First class chiefs in the state.
SKIPFo said it was wrong for the Kaduna State governor, Yero to receive a chieftaincy title from the Chairman of the State Traditional Council who doubles as his traditional ruler. Added to this, SKPIFo said huge amount of resources went into lobbying and getting the title, the ceremony proper and other activities that are monetary related.
“The Emir of Zazzau is the Chairman Council of Chiefs Kaduna State and his position is constitutionally lower than that of the Chairman of the Local Government Area to which his palace is located. The governor is the number one citizen of the State and thus should never have accepted such a title while in public office. By this singular act, the governor has clearly told us where his tent is pitched when it comes to issues concerning Zazzau Emirate and other chiefdom or subjects of Zazzau Emirate and subjects of other Emirates or chiefdoms. To quote the words of Salanken Zazzau as captured in the Sunday Trust Newspaper Sunday, June 1, 2014 at page 37,” So he (Gov Yero) is both a Council member and a special adviser on Council’s decision. He is among members of the kitchen cabinet who formed the inner circle”. “The role he is expected to play now is to advise the Emir in terms of development, social, educational, agricultural, health and anything that WILL BENEFIT THE ZAZZAU PEOPLE not only as a governor but as an individual”.
“In short governor Yero is an adviser to the Emir of Zazzau and thus all his thoughts and acts are henceforth Zazzau centered at the expense of the other parts of the State. Could such a leader be trusted to be fair, just and equitable to all citizens of Kaduna State? Asake asked.
Continued the Salenke Zazzau, “Even now as governor, he (Yero) offers support towards the success of the Emirate. He helped in opening small businesses for unemployed women and established skills acquisition centers for the youths. More than 1000 youths have benefitted from the initiatives”.
SKIPFo asked, “How many unemployed women and youths from other Chiefdoms and Emirates outside Zazzau Emirate has Gov Ramalan Yero opened small scale businesses or established skills acquisition centers for? This confirmed his discriminatory leadership trait. It was said that Gov Yero actually lobbied and used state resources to acquire the title to further attract the sympathy of the royal father and the people in his 2015 re-election bid. He was also said to have used his powers to emasculate other contenders, including the family members of late Dallatun Zazzau, Mohammed Hayatudden.
It is alleged that Gov Yero used about N2 billion from the state treasury for that ceremony. Higher institution in the state went on strike; Salaries were not paid the month he was crowned with the title while Secondary School teachers employed over six month ago have not been paid, it was gathered.
Marginalization and 2015
Members of SKIPFo have called on other Southern Kaduna citizens to learn from Ramalan politics and act according to its letter and contents. “We are blessed with human and material resources in Southern Kaduna,” the group said adding, that the blessings of knowledge that God showered upon them should always help them not to play the second fiddle to the Hausa/Fulani ethnic groups instead of considering themselves as equals and compete for all elective and appointive offices in the State.
“Since 1999 only non citizens of Kaduna State have been elected senators in Kaduna Central Senatorial zone where Southern Kaduna people are the majority. If we really do our homework, the office will be ours for keeps, so is a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives, Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA), Chairmen of LGAs, Councilors in this zone,” Asake said.
He said SKIPFo will insists the PDP Governorship ticket for 2015 be zoned to Southern Kaduna to complete Late Yakowa’s tenure or they chose a party which will allow them express themselves.
“In view of the Albarka Consult paper and the accuracy of its execution by Gov Yero so far, we are prepared to adopt counter rigging measures to checkmate such satanic agenda. It must be clear to all that Gov Yero is not only incompetent, inept and unrepentantly arrogant; he is also if given the chance to stay beyond May 2015 going to emasculate us beyond redemption. We will do all within our powers, with prayers to get him out of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House where he does not certainly suppose to belong,” SKIPFo said.
SKIPFo called on the Southern Kaduna Traditional Rulers to rise up and take their pride of place if they should be ready to fight since they have been virtually reduced to village Heads level.
“They are not even allowed to meet at the zonal level on matters that concerned them and us as they are compelled by law to defer to the Emir of Zazzau for permission to meet. What sort of slavery are we allowing to creep into our existence? They cannot be first class Chiefs and still be subordinated to the Emir of Zazzau as mutual respect should be accorded each others,” SKIPFo added.
The group said the Chairmanship of the Kaduna State Council of Chiefs should be rotational in view of the state diversity in terms of ethnicity, customs, religion and cultural differences. “We could not have fought for independence from the feudal Zazzau Emirate only for us to now be further enslaved by the same feudal Czar using the instrument of government just as did the British,” Asake said.
Asake said with Gov Yero now as Dallatun Zazzau, every citizen in Kaduna State is now under the Emir of Zazzau Alhaji Shehu Idris, who by implications is the unconstitutional Chief Executive Officer of Kaduna State and called for removal of all imposed Ardos that have by government fiat been made members of various Traditional Council in Kaduna South.
“They should be removed,” Asake said adding, “If government does not do so let us never allow them attend our various Traditional Councils meetings. This attendance has caused leakages leading to lose of hundreds of lives of our people. This is the greatest injustice done to us and our docility in tolerating it. Our various Community Development Associations tribal chiefs in various Hausa/Fulani land are not given similar treatment and cannot even go near their Traditional Councils. Why is it different in our case? Our privacy has been infringed upon and nobody is saying anything,” Asake said.
He said the people of Southern Kaduna must resist with every fibre, the clamour by the settlers in Kachia, Kachia LGA of Kaduna State for a creation of Chiefdom within a hundred radios from the Adara Chiefdom’s headquarters.
“We also ask why the husband of Sen Nenadi Usman, Alhaji Sa’ad Usman, a Fulani settler from Katsina State should be made a chief of Jere, a Brig Gen Garba Mohammed a Hausa/Fulani with roots from Lere in Bauchi State should be made a chief of Lere in a Kurama Town. They have ensured all manner of people from both within and outside Nigeria of the Muslim fold are settled within their chiefdoms so as to swell up the Muslims population. If nothing is done now, we can be sure that in about five years time, Kagarko LGA will have the largest population of all LGAs in Southern Kaduna if not the whole state,” Asake said.
Asake alleged that in all Southern communities were Hausa/ Fulani Muslims settled, they received high patronage as commissioners and Permanent Secretaries, neglecting the most qualify locals.
“Democracy is a game of number and popular choice. Late Gov Yakowa in order to please the Muslims minority in Jema’a LGA made the Vice- Chairman portfolio their entire preserve. We must resist this in the next LGA Election. In Ikara LGA the Christians/Muslims population is almost 50% each yet, the Christians there are not allowed Councillorship slot even though they are Hausa Christians. It is quite sad that we do not think of them nor extend a hand of fellowship to them.There are so many non Kaduna State citizens but Muslims presently occupying key appointments at the expense of our people. Let us expose them by taking correct statistics which we should present to the outside world and fight for the entrenchment of fairness justice and equity in the State,” Asake added.
Yero’s economic empowerment
The group also alleged that Kaduna State University (KASU) awarded contract worth N5 billion from TERFUND and no single Southern Kaduna man benefitted.
“Kaduna State UBEB recently awarded contracts worth 3 billion only Joseph Sazuri and two others from Southern Kaduna were awarded a combined contract of N530,000 (five hundred and thirty thousand naira) only. Is this State for only Northern Kaduna? If the genocide in Bondon District of Moroa chiefdom attracted a miserable N84 million naira succour from government, what would the government do in terms of succour to Takad chiefdom which has suffered worst casualties both in terms of human lives and property, what about the huge destruction of hundreds of lives and properties in 15 communities in Sanga local government? Or is the government saying that they do not deserve any assistance? We are waiting to see what government will do about this because there is no way the government of Kaduna State can be so selective and uncaring and remained unchallenged,” the group said.