Even though Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, governor of Kaduna State, has not openly shown interest in re-election, his body language suggests that he is building a bridge towards 2015
| By Ishaya Ibrahim | Feb. 4, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
THE build-up to 2015 governorship election is beginning to take shape in Kaduna State. Muktar Ramalan Yero, the state’s governor, has, in a surprised move, conceded the vacant chairmanship position of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, to the southern part of the state. After a marathon meeting last week, with some party executives, Haruna Abubakar, was then chosen to fill the vacuum left by Nuhu Bajoga, who is now the state’s deputy governor. Abubakar is from the southern part of the state as Bajoga, the party’s former chairman.
Though Yero is believed to have favoured the appointment of Isiyaku Aliyu from the northern senatorial zone, threats of political realignment by the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, made the governor change gear. Comrade Joel Wakili, SOKAPU chairman, had penultimate week, said any attempt to take away the party chairmanship from Southern Kaduna would engender a major political realignment and electoral revolt, describing their zone as a strategic stronghold of the PDP in the state.
Now that the governor has settled for Abubakar, many believe the decision is strategic since Abubakar is still his loyalist and currently the commissioner of chieftaincy affairs. Abdulazeez Ibrahim, a lawyer and political commentator in the state, said though the governor is new politically, it was normal that he supported Abubakar as the chairman of the state’s PDP. He said it is all about interest. ‘The governor is the leader of the party, forget about the chairman. Just like President Jonathan and Bamanga Tukur, the governor calls the shot”, he said.
The move by Yero to shop for a loyal ally as chairman of the state party’s PDP, politicaly watchers believe is in preparation for 2015. Though he has not showed interest yet, political analysts believe that the governor‘s body language clearly suggests that he would run for the post in 2015. Aside his interest in the choice of the state’s chairmanship position, he has also sacked members of the kitchen cabinet of the late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, who was the first elected governor from southern Kaduna, and replaced them with his own allies.
Though Kaliboi Sidi, a political analyst, said there was nothing wrong with Yero contesting in 2015, his victory at the polls might be hinged on how he acts and reacts to issues that affect Southern Kaduna people and by extension Christians. “The governor has said he would be governor for all; if he fails to deliver on that promise, the Congress for Progressive Change, might rout him in 2015 because it holds sway in the northern part of the state”, Sidi said.
Another issue that could determine Yero’s popularity among the electorate is how he would react to the influx of Okada riders from neighbouring Kano State where they have been banned. Okada used to be the major means of transportation in Kano and with their ban in the state; they are now trooping to Kaduna, to continue their trade. Rabiu Kwankwaso, Kano State governor, decided on their ban since he would not be seeking re-election. “But should Yero tow the same line before 2015, the CPC might make that a campaign issue”, Sidi said.