The people of Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State have begun searching for a new deputy governor for the state following the sudden death of their son, Sir Patrick Yakowa in a helicopter crash last Saturday in Bayelsa State.
Former Deputy Governor, Muktar Ramalan Yero was yesterday sworn in as the new Governor.
Already, series of meetings are being held to come to a consensus on who becomes the new deputy governor, even as indigenes of Southern Kaduna are yet to come out of the shock over the death of Yakowa, the first state governor of Kaduna State who is from Southern Kaduna and a Christian since its creation in 1967.
Notable politicians whose names are being mentioned for the post include former Aviation Minister, Felix Hassan Hyat; former Minister of Power, Nuhu Somo Waya; Senator Isaiah Balat; Principal Private Secretary to the late Yakowa, Yohanna Allah Mateni; Special Adviser to the late Yakowa on Religious Matters, Rev John Joseph Hayab and a former House of Representatives member, Jonathan Akase.
Political pundits say that whoever will emerge will be determined by the three major political camps in the state: those of Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and the late governor’s camp.
It is expected that Vice President Sambo will bring his influence to bear heavily on choosing the deputy governor, considering the fact that the new governor is his protégé and political godson. The 44-year old Yero was his company accountant and also the Commissioner of Finance in his cabinet while he was a governor.
Senator Makarfi might also leverage on his excellent relationship with the people of Southern Kaduna and his being one of the most influential politicians in the state to pick one of his loyalists as deputy governor.
Feelers indicate also that the camps of Makarfi and that of the late governor have joined forces, with some of the contenders seen at the swearing-in of the new governor.
If Makarfi’s influence is anything to go by, either Felix Hassan Hyat or Yohanna Allah Malteni could emerge as deputy governor.
However, associates of Vice President Sambo are factoring 2015 elections into their preference for a neutral deputy governor, which could fall to either Isaiah Balat or Jonathan Asake.
However, latest indications are pointing to Yohanna Allah Malteni, Jonathan Asake, Felix Hyat or the PDP Chairman, Ambassador Nuhu Bajogo are likely candidates for the deputy governor.