19th May, 2010
A needless tension has been allowed to prevail in Kaduna over what would be the inevitable emergence of the Deputy Governor of that state, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, as governor.
According to the constitution, when the position of a governor of a state becomes vacant, the deputy should automatically be sworn-in as the helmsman. That is the case with Kaduna as the governor, Namadi Sambo, has been nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan as vice president; a nomination that was approved yesterday by the National Assembly.
But certain Muslim groups have threatened to resist any attempt to elevate the deputy governor to the status of governor. And their reasons betray their level of religious bias. One of the reasons given is that they believe that Kaduna is a Muslim-dominated state and to have Yakowa, a Christian, asÂ governor, will amount to forcing the Muslims to be subservient to a Christian governor.
Another reason given is that Kaduna serves as the historical centre of the north, which indirectly, represents the headquarters of the Muslims. Hence, they believe that that is not the kind of place for a Christian to govern.
We want to believe that these opinions do not represent the views of all Muslims in the state. It is heart warming that Namadi Sambo at an interactive forum with both Muslims and Christians in the state, appealed to the Muslims in particular to accept Yakowa as their governor.
â€œMy elevation to the status of VP and that of Yakowa to the governor of the state is an act of God. So, I expect nobody to protest,â€ said Sambo.
The opinion of these people who are opposed to Yakowaâ€™s governorship is absurd. One, they have no concrete proof to show that the Muslims are in the majority in thatÂ state. And even if they are, Nigeria is a secular country and every state in Nigeria is a secular one. Hence, anyone, even if the person is a Christian, Muslim or adherent of other religions can be a governor of a state provided the person meets the constitutional requirements.
Besides, the constitution is superior to religious biases and ethnic prejudices. According to the constitution, the only person who should be governor given the situation in Kaduna, is Yakowa, whether anybody likes it or not. Period!
Nigerians should learn to think outside the box of religion and tribe and accept what is right in every situation. It is a shame that some people will kick against a Christian governor in northern Nigeria in this 21st century when Nigerians are being elected as members of the British parliament. Common, we canâ€™t be so backward!
We plead with the people of Kaduna to give total support to Yakowa as he takes over the administration of the state. They must allow peace to reign for the good of all. We can do without the kind of crises that rocked Jos this year. Security agencies must be vigilant to forestal any threat to peace in Kaduna.