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Tension in Kaduna over VP nominee

VP nominee and Kaduna State governor, Namadi Sambo

* Police, APCs deployed on the streets

* How Sambo won Jonathan

Jide Ajani, Deputy Editor, Emeka Mamah

The choice of Governor Mohammed Namadi Sambo of Kaduna State by President Goodluck Jonathan as his nominee for the vice presidential slot has sparked tension in Kaduna, prompting the police to deploy troops and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to the streets yesterday.

Sunday Vanguard can also report that the president’s choice of Alhaji Sambo, an architect, is a product of the president’s personal interaction with, and knowledge of, the governor from their time as members of the committee on power set up by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Some Islamic clerics and youths are said to be ones engineering the  tension.

Their grievance, it was gathered in Kaduna, was not much about Alhaji Sambo but the fact that the affairs of the state will now be run by a Christian and the current deputy governor, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.

Mr. Yakowa is from the predominantly Christian Southern Kaduna.
Some imams were said to have openly complained about the development.

On Friday some text messages began to articulate  in the state one of which said:
‘Suhanallah, this means that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has won. Their agenda of taking over Kaduna and Nigeria has succeeded.

“Namadi is also not a prominent  Muslim. Appointing him shows clearly that the Obasanjo agenda of shifting power to the Christians in both Kaduna and Nigeria is fast becoming a reality.

“All Muslims need to rise in prayers and in tigfar so that Allah in His infinite mercies may change this arrangement and put these enemies of Muslims and Islam to shame.”

The  police reacted promptly be deploying men to   the streets on Friday ahead of the Jumat prayers.

Policemen drove around the flash point in their APCs.

The state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Tambari Yabo Mohammed, also held a meeting with Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the state yesterday and reportedly directed them to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in their areas.

Besides, Muslim and Christian leaders in the state were mandated to educate their followers on democratic principles.

SOKAPU, NDPF, NANS welcome his choice

But the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), the Northern Democratic Peoples Forum (NDPF) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) hailed Gov. Sambo’s choice.

“The nomination of Sambo as vice president will certainly be of greater benefit to the generality of the Nigerian populace as he is a detribalized fellow, who believes in the corporate and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliations”, the NDPF said, while SOKAPU  “rejoiced with the new Vice Presidential designate, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo by President Goodluck Jonathan,” adding that Sambo was not only  a “suitable replacement but a worthy honour to the union and Kaduna state”.

SOKAPU National President, Professor Haruna Ishaya Nock who spoke for the union said, “We are rejoicing with Arc Namadi Sambo and it is a welcome development because our state have been recognized in the federation.

 This is a good omen and would bring about more other development to the Reacting to the development, the Kaduna state Police Spokesman, Deputy Superintendent, Aminu Lawal  in an interview said,  “the Commissioner of Police just finished security meeting with all Divisional Police Officers throughout the state, and he charged them to brace up and tighten up security vigilance in their respective areas.

“We are on top of security and trouble makers have no place here I can tell you. Kaduna state is intact and peaceful and no threat to security exists.

“Our men would go back and continue working with other stakeholders to strengthen security in their areas. We don’t want any record of breach and we are ready. People should go about their normal activities”.

All is well — KDSG
The state Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Alhaji Saidu Adamu said:, “There is no tension  whatsoever in Kaduna state, everything is going fine and you can see.

“It is just the handiwork of detractors who wish the state bad but there is nothing like that in the Kaduna.

“The government of Kaduna state is actually happy that this is happening to us in Kaduna state, because we all know that the Governor never wanted this appointment, all he has been saying is that he wants God to grant him the ability to go back for a second term as the Governor of the state to make sure that he completes most of the projects he has started, so each time you even speak to him about being the Vice President he never liked it.

“He wanted to stay in Kaduna and complete the good job he started, but you see when God is doing his own thing he does not consult anybody.

“God had already prepared him for the Vice Presidency, so even when our governor was working tirelessly to see that Senator Makarfi becomes the Vice President, little did he know that in God’s mind he has already started with him.

“And that was why President Goodluck Jonathan decided to pick him as the constitution has provided.

“Whoever is saying that Sambo scuttled Makarfi’s bid to be Vice President actually does not believe in God. Namadi has been lobbying for Makarfi. It is the President that has the sole right to nominate anybody he feels that he is comfortable to work with him, so he feels comfortable to work with Namadi as Vice President”.

On the expected takeover of leadership in the state by the  Deputy Governor, Mr.Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, Adamu further said that, “the constitution is clear about this; the deputy governor will automatically become the governor, if the Governor is sworn in as the Vice President.

“Development is coming to our state; creating more environments for our people. That is the thinking of God and nobody can change that.

“It a normal issue without contest and if anybody thinks otherwise then he is ignorant of the constitution.

“Unless if the constitution is changed today, it is very clear and we have no other reason than to comply with the constitution. As long as the constitution is there we have no  choice than to act according to it.

Why Jonathan settled for him
Meanwhile, Sunday Vanguard gathered that  President  Jonathan settled for Governor Sambo on the strength of the existing relationship between them that began when they both met and served in the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s committee on power.

The relationship, according to a source familiar with them, is “one based on trust, confidence and mutual respect.

Sunday Vanguard can also reveal that President Jonathan decided to consult as widely as possible so that whoever he settled for would be seen as the “product of wide consultations in the country”.

However, it was also gathered that at no time did he ask for a group nominee as was done by the Senate, House of Representatives and the Governors’ Forum.

A Presidency source told Sunday Vanguard “President Jonathan never requested any nominee from the Senate or the House of Representatives or the Governors’ Forum”.

Nevertheless, he kept it open and consulted as widely as possible.

On the involvement of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the nomination process, the source said;  “in truth, President Jonathan deferred to the former President but there was never a time that guarantees were made or given on the matter.

“However, what many could not understand was that Jonathan and Sambo had struck a relationship which was nurtured into something wonderful.

“While both men were on the committee on power which the late President Umaru Yar’Adua instituted, they worked together and the trust was built.

“During the work of the committee on power, Governor Sambo and then Vice President Jonathan forged a relationship that was based on trust and understanding.

“The trust was built so much so that there were times when the Vice President would not approve anything except Governor Sambo had vetted the bills as appropriate.

“I think Jonathan also saw in Sambo a man who did not put pecuniary and primordial interests ahead of national interests and national developmental goals and objectives.”, a source who has followed both men closely told Sunday Vanguard last Friday.

Sunday Vanguard also gathered that when Jonathan visited Kaduna State during the KADA Games, the national sports festival hosted by the state, Jonathan was so impressed with the calisthenics that he requested from Sambo that “the people involved in the demonstrations should be brought to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, for the Under-16 World Cup.  For the Vice President to have made such a request relates to the level of confidence he has in the man.  And it is mutual.

“Even while some hawks were pushing Jonathan to do certain things while Yar’Adua was not around, good counsel from some quarters prevailed and you can guess from where”, adding, “Governor Sambo had made up his mind that if God Almighty was going to do something, why should human beings be the one rushing for it as if they could make it possible and, therefore, did not bother himself or show keen interest”


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