Pandemonium broke-out weekend in Fadan- Kagoma, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, during the foundation laying ceremony of Late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa Centre following a clash by the supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and those of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Yakowa is the first civilian governor from Southern Kaduna to have governed the state. The foundation laying ceremony was part of the late governor’s kinsmen traditional day celebration, ‘Gwong Day,’ but saw several cars destroyed outside the podium as cultural troops were entertaining guests.
The event had taken off smoothly, witnessing the arrival of a former Deputy governor of Kaduna State, and Labour Party Candidate in the forth coming election, Engr James Bawa Magaji, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) gubernatorial candidate in the state, Mr Polycarp Gangkon and the deputy governor of Kaduna State, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga.
Both dignitaries are late Yakowa’s kinsmen from the Southern part of the state. Bawa Magaji of the Labour Party and Polycarp Gangkon left the venue of the programme during the clash.
As speeches and cultural display were ongoing, Kaduna State governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero who was the special guest of honour and the representative of Vice President Namadi Sambo arrived.
On the arrival of Kaduna South APC Senatorial candidate, Dr Ishaku Shekarau with his supporters, the atmosphere became tense.
During a match past by the cultural groups, followed by the traditional institution’s display, supporters of the PDP with their banners joined in the match pass. Those of APGA, Labour and the APC followed with their brooms above their heads to the dismay of the PDP supports because Kaduna State governor and gubernatorial candidate of the PDP was the one reviewing the match past. Fight broke-out outside the location of the dignitaries.
Daily Times gathered that several cars were destroyed while many people sustained injuries. No live was lost. Speaking on the incident, Dr. Shekarau said he had been subjected to thorough security check on getting to the venue of the programme and suddenly, hoodlums started attacking him with dangerous weapons.
“I escaped but they destroyed 16 cars belonging to our party security personnel saw all that transpired and none of them tried to repel the hoodlums who were brought to Southern Kaand my bullet-proof car. The duna in droves. It is quite unfortunate and condemnable,” Shekarau said.
During his speech after the clash, Kaduna State governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero said the state government will not relent in its task of sustaining lasting peace in the state.
“We shall not sit on our oars and allow bandits to destabilise our state. Our aim is to build a society of peace. I appeal to our fellow politicians to play it with decorum because all powers belong to God. The next election is not a do or die affair,” Yero said.
The governor said Nigeria is facing harsh economic times adding that there is need for transformation through the use of culture and tourism.
“I call on all organizers of this even and other group planning similar events to come together and harness our economic benefit,” Yero added.
The governor said contrary to speculation that he has abandoned projects initiated by late Yakowa, he has completed 14 out of the 31 roads contract awarded by his late boss.
Wife of the late governor, Dame Amina Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, while speaking, revealed that Yakowa lost his mother at six and father at 14 but rose to the top through dedication and hard work.
“Everyone can make it to the top,” Amina said adding, “We don’t need violence in this election. Let the election be peaceful. We will continue to pray for peace.”
Speaking on the establishment of Late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa centre, Amina said as someone who is a hero to many, the centre will compete with notable ones in the country towards grooming tomorrow’s leaders.
The Chairman, organizing committee, Mr Jonathan Luka Kogi said it was planned to showcase their culture and to also immortalize their mentor, late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.
“The memorial centre is unique and is something that our children will ask us one day. Yakowa is the first to becoming a civilian governor that governed Kaduna State from the Southern part of Kaduna.
“It was unfortunate that the event which was supposed to showcase our culture and immortalise Yakowa was turned to a political event. Yes, there was a clash and it is very detrimental to our human existence. We must play politics with decorum and degree of responsibility,” Kogi said.
The Paramount ruler of the Gwong people, retired Col Zakka Wyoms urged Nigerians to live peacefully with one another. Wyoms said Yakowa is a hero adding that his good deeds and memories will never be forgotten.