Alhaji Mukhtar Yero
John Shiklam in Kaduna
In one of his first public acts since assuming the governorship last Sunday, the new governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero, saturday addressed a stakeholders’ meeting of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, in Kaduna. The meeting, summoned by the governor, had in attendance Vice President Namadi Sambo, who is a former governor of the state, and key members of the party in the state.
Yero was sworn in as governor following the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa, Sambo’s successor, in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State penultimate Saturday.
The governor told the meeting that a new deputy governor would soon be appointed for the state. He asked for the contribution of the stakeholders in picking the person to fill the post he left only last Sunday.
Yero addressed the gathering in the Hausa language for what he said was meant for those who could not understand the English language to follow the discussion.
He appealed to the stakeholders for support and cooperation to carry on from where Yakowa stopped, assuring that he would complete all projects initiated by his former boss. The governor also pledged to implement the 2013 budget, which Yakowa had recently presented to the House of Assembly, if it is approved by the legislature.
Addressing the meeting, Sambo asked the new governor to carry all stakeholders of the ruling party in the state along in his leadership so as to move the state forward. He commiserated with the stakeholders over the death of Yakowa, stressing that PDP in Kaduna State has come a long way and everything must be done to ensure the party’s continued cohesion.
The vice president noted that since 1999 PDP delivered its promises and manifestos to the people of the state.
“We are gathered here to mourn our brother and in the spirit of oneness, unite our people and ensure peace and stability. I call on the governor to rally round stakeholders to move the state forward and achieve greatness.
“I urge you all not to rest on your oars, to work towards the progress of the state. President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that he will continue to support Kaduna State,” Sambo said.
Also speaking, the chairman of PDP in the state, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, said the meeting, which he described as solemn, was summoned by Yero to look at ways of strengthening the bonds of unity within the party and continuing the good works of the late governor.
He recalled that PDP in the state had recorded resounding successes, as exemplified by the recent local government elections in the state.
“Your Excellency is on a familiar terrain, and we believe that the bonds of mutual cooperation, which existed under the leadership of our late leader, will continue to flourish for the benefit of our party, in particular, and the good people of Kaduna State,” Bajoga said.
Those that attended the meeting included Nigeria's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Senator Dalhatu Sarki Tafida; Senator Isaiah Balat; former chairmen of PDP in the state, Alhaji Makama Rigachikun; Alhaji Ya'u Usman; Senator Nenadi Usman; Alhaji Suleiman Hunkuyi; National Organising Secretary of PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha; Hon. Yakubu Barde; and Hon. Gideon Gaiya.
Also in attendance were two of those being widely thought to be likely nominees for the position of deputy governor: Hon. Jonathan Asake and Rev. Joseph Hayab.
However, Hayab told newsmen after the stakeholders’ meeting held at the Hassan Katsina House, Kawo, Kaduna, that he was not interested in the deputy governorship position. He said people should stop mentioning his name.
“I didn’t say I am looking for the position. Please, remove my name from the list,” Hayab said.