This story explains what may have lead to the murder of Patrick Yakowa, the former governor of Kaduna State.
Yakowa was probably one of the longest serving deputy governors in the history of Nigeria. He was a christian from South-South Kaduna, regarded as one of the minority clans. This story tries to explain his rise to power and the probable circumstances that may have led to his murder in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
When Namadi was the Governor of Kaduna State, he had an overwhelming influence and his support base could win elections in Kaduna without much ado. In Kaduna the people were generally liberal but they do not forget in their minds that they love Islam-for the majority and Christianity-for the minority. It was fate that brought them together at this point. The landscape in Kaduna boast of a few rivers including Kaduna from which the name of the State was derived. In Kaduna, peace and tranquility prevails.
Namadi’s deputy was a gentleman. Unlike Namadi, Yakowa was born a Christian. He was gentle and humble. He did as he was told and was a loyal deputy. Yakowa worked so hard that he almost didn’t find spare time to spend with his family and loved ones. When he did, he was quick to realise that the money he had was not enough or was barely enough to support his loads of responsibilities and commitments. Many politicians in Nigeria bite more than they can chew.
Kaduna is not exceptionally different from the rest of Nigeria. The government in Nigeria is extravagant, copiously wasteful, corrupt and almost totally oblivious of the sufferings of the people. Nigeria is a complete mess compared to the potentials that had been bestowed on it by mother nature. The human resources available to Nigeria is huge but the growth and development are stagnant. The quality of life is embarrassingly retrogressive. Those who run Nigeria have been largely described as corrupt, crazy and retards.
Yakowa wanted more money so he could feel buoyant in his spendings. He asked Ramalan for more money because it was Ramalan who kept the treasury. By the way Ramalan became the treasury keeper because he was a friend of Namadi since his days at the counter at one bank in Kaduna. So despite the fact that he was sacked from the bank (probably for criminal activities) Ramalan was able to keep the treasury for the whole of Kaduna. In Nigerian politics generally, religion and tribalism play prominent roles. Your background and track records are almost insignificant.
There are well documented true stories of how former criminals became prominent people in Nigerian politics. Ibori comes to mind too quickly and the present leader of the PDP in SW Nigeria, one Kasumu, is alleged to also be a criminal on the run from the US. In Nigeria murderers and criminals continue to occupy political posts and public offices.
Yakowa’s request fell on deaf ears. The treasury keeper of Kaduna State called Ramalan did not like Yakowa’s face, to put it mildly. The hatred was deeper. Ramalan kept the wallet of Kaduna and did not see any reason why Yakowa’s allowance or wages should be increased. Only Namadi’s voice was supreme. But this voice was not persuasive enough to let Ramalan increase the allowance for Yakowa. Yakowa was not happy that his monthly allowance cannot be increased by just N1m.
One day an expected tragedy struck in Nigeria. The paramount ruler died despite several efforts made by both the local juju men and the witchdoctors from the Republic of Germany to save his life. Jonathan became the ruler, replacing Yar’Adua.
This was an unexpected shift in power in Nigeria. The Juntas have not recovered from the shock and consequences. It appears they will tear the country apart before the next 400 days counting from today. The worst thing is that the ordinary people are suffering and smiling. With respect to their rulers the people cannot separate insanity from fantasy and they know almost nothing about the real meaning of life. They just live or more correctly, survive.
Anyway Namadi was drafted away from Kaduna. Somehow religion is key to the selection of rulers in Nigeria. He became Jonathan’s deputy. Subsequently Yakowa became the Governor of Kaduna and Ramalan left the treasury and became the assistant to Yakowa. In Kaduna State this is the hierarchy of succession. Commissioner of Finance-Deputy Gov-Governor ascension. The power shift in Kaduna is strikingly similar to the one that just took place in Abuja: people of minority clan ascending to paramount rulership.
With the way the economy is managed around all the regions making up Nigeria, the Governor in a certain region or state is the richest person because he signs all contracts and can also loot the most. The one who controls the treasury is the next-richest-he can steal or hide funds. The positions of deputies in Nigeria is ceremonial. It is called figurehead. You can work hard and still not have the possibility to sign or award contracts.
Ramalan became the deputy to Yakowa by succession. So, he-Ramalan-found himself in the position that Yakowa was earlier and then he realised the “sufferings” and isolation that Yakowa felt. He realised he had been mean and unreasonable in turning down Yakowa’s appeal for an increase in allowance. He did not feel any remorse though.
There were other issues. Using the political base of Namadi, Yakowa was able to win a new election to keep the position of the governor. It may also be that the power and influence of the incubency in Africa avails much. But Yakowa soon dropped his political base. The implication is that he weeded Namani boys out of the new administration.This angered Ramalan and Namadi. As the governor, Yakowa was a fair person and he was well liked. Even the majority group disliked not to love him. He was not “one” of them but he treated them kindly.
Ramalan maintained a constant and powerful line of communication with Namadi who now has greater powers despite being a national figurehead. In his contradictory roles, he aligned with Ramalan and together they plotted to unseat Yakowa. They did not succeed in their subtle approaches. One day they suddenly realised that there were loopholes in the national security of Nigeria. They knew Boko Haram had been bombing in Maiduguri unabated.
Namadi plotted with Ramalan and they started to throw bombs around Kaduna.They recruited idle hands that were readily available in the North as the devil’s workshop. The people became confused. When Namadi was the Governor, there was nothing of this nature. The people knew that they love one another. No one could understand why the liberality of Kaduna was now brought under siege. But the Zaria mafia knew!
Rumours rose, spread and died. Yakowa-the gentleman he was, and the trust he had in his subordinates-called for calm but chaos came from time to time. The biggest and the most secured military base in Africa is in Kaduna and people come from all over the world to receive training at Jaji. Due to Namadi and Ramalan’s plots Jaji barracks was successfully attacked. All these to bring down the reign of Yakowa, a man of faith in the way of the Christ, and a Kaduna South-South minority as they call them. The last bombing during the reign of Yakowa was at a church not too far away from Malali. A brand new Honda car was sacrificed for this act of cowardice.
Despite the bombings, despite the thick plots, Yakowa continued to prosper politically. Ramalan and Namadi started a thicker plot to compromise the liberal status of Kaduna state even more. Some myopic people think that you must be from Zaria to hold sway. They can’t even openly tolerate men of other faith. During the reign of Yakowa and with enemies all around, there was now a group of disgruntled elements playing the religious cards. After corruption, tribalism and outright stupidity, religion is rated as one of the biggest clogs in the wheel of progress in the country called Nigeria.
Several days had gone by before a final plot emerged. Yakowa will be eliminated. Yakowa went to participate in the burial of the father of Douglas, a man whose fortune was favoured by Jonathan. The place was deep beyond the creeks, a place he knew nothing about and for which he had no attachment. It was several miles from Kaduna and that sort of social engagement was the type you send your deputy or a commissioner to attend. Yakowa has not been reading between the thick lines.
Many historians will miss the connection between Yakowa and the man whose father had died. But he chose to attend the burial as this was a common practice in Nigeria. Corruption unites the rulers and social gatherings like these became the means to more power and connections that help to keep the hold on power and to achieve good-will points that repay with favours from the paramount rulers.
When it was time to return to Kaduna, Yakowa’s helicopter did not show up. Who knows where it held up? Kaduna? Abuja or Lagos? Who suggested to Yakowa that he could travelled back in the company of Azazi?
Yakowa travelled in the company of another “enemy” of the State. Azazi had criticized Jonathan and Namadi. He was so bold he said that Jonathan’s government accommodated terrorists who are operating in Borno and other parts of Northern Nigeria. Azazi might have told Yakowa more about the bombing in Kaduna and as an ex-soldier he may even have told him how Jaji was compromised by Namadi and Ramalan.
What Azazi, a former military security boss, should have known better however is that hardly do any former military man travel in military helicopters. Actually, they don’t. They chose private companies and for those who have looted Nigeria like Babangida and Abdulsalami, they probably have their own fleet of helicopters and jets.
Azazi spent his last minutes with a fellow like him: both marked for elimination. What both of them did not know was that the helicopter had been “tampered” with. They did not make it out of the creek alive. Namadi made good his promise to deliver Kaduna into the hands of Ramalan-his brother in faith. In a way he probably worked with Jonathan on this one. With one stone they killed two birds plus four. All six bodies were burnt beyond recognition. It was a masterpiece murder, planned in high places and executed in the creeks.
Yakowa’s sins are that he paid back Ramalan for what Ramalan did to him. It was not a bad pay back as such but Ramalan is a wicked man and a man who does not have the liberal status of Kaduna at heart. He saw his own “retaliation” as a love for his religion and killed for it. He will kill again if necessary, for the supremacy of Zaria. Azazi’s sins was against the nest of killers called PDP and his comments perceived as threats to the reign of Jonathan. In Nigeria, state-sponsored murders are permissible. They killed Kashimawo Abiola in the most brutal way possible, they killed Kudirat Abiola, they killed Bola Ige even when he was working for them. They murdered several others once they are not on the same side as the paramount rulers. Nigeria is no ordinary country.
When Yakowa died, the misinformed locals in Kaduna thought the bomber was dead. Indeed the bombings stopped since the sponsors-Namadi and Ramalan-now have what they want. They got it exactly the way they wanted it-to make the people believe that Yakowa was the bomber. They even planted “evidence” in his office. In Nigeria, what don’t people do for power and money? Ramalan wanted more money and the ultimate state power and both Ramalan and Namadi thought they found peace with “religious politics”. Ramalan now spends most of his time playing polo and Namadi faces an uncertain future as politics in Nigeria continue to heat up the system. His political base is reported to be in shambles.
The murder in the creek went on to be one of the several murders that are not investigated or solved in Nigeria. After the initial outcry/outrage and a promise to leave no stone unturned by the hypocrites at the presidency, everything went back to “normal”. In fact, these “multiple murders” like many before them were classified as “an accident”. When Jonathan boasted last week about investigating state-sponsored murders/assassinations, no one took him seriously. To take a man seriously, you must first ask him to take away his bottle of intoxicant. When he is sober enough, tell him that charity begins at home.
These are the probable circumstances that may have led to the murder of Yakowa. He was not a collateral damage in the assassination of General Azizi. He was also a target for elimination.