or the love that I have for Southern Kaduna, I'm confused as to the reasons why some people from Southern Kaduna object to Ambassador being Deputy Governor. I have read press releases and spoken to some people and the Deputy Governor himself, but still, I can't pinpoint any informed and reasonable reason for their objections. All I hear is people saying that he has betrayed us, too old for the position, and that he should have remained the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A sample of the statements made against the nomination is in order:
The nomination is described as a "Greek gift", and sensing a conspiracy and involvement by the Vice-President Namadi Sambo in the nomination, reminiscent of "the voice of Jacob but the hands of Esau", the Coalition of Southern Kaduna Youth rejects the nomination.
The youth wing of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), also believes that the nomination is an imposition by the Vice-President. But went further to make a claim that puzzles me: "Let the Vice-President Namadi Sambo know that SOKAPU is the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) in Southern Kaduna and we are against Bajoga's appointment as deputy governor." What is puzzling, if the statement attributed to the group is true, is that I didn't know that SOKAPU was PDP in Southern Kaduna!!
But the most uncompromising objection came from Concerned Southern Kaduna Professionals:
"…accepting his nomination and subsequently being sworn in, Ambassador Bajoga has also revealed himself as a Judas who evidently is an unprincipled and unworthy sibling of Southern Kaduna, and indeed a betrayer of the Southern Kaduna struggle. What is more painful and amazing is that at his age and exposure, he allowed his quest for political power to mortgage the future of present and upcoming generations of Southern Kaduna, as Concerned Southern Kaduna…And he will have no rest or peace, since power is transient, flexible, and largely dotted with evil."
These are very harsh words. If someone doesn't know Mr. Bajoga and his public service, you would think that he had committed murder. What wrong did he do to the people of Southern Kaduna that warrants such hellish condemnation? When does being nominated as Deputy Governor become a crime against an entire people? Deputy Governor Bajoga is a man who was: a manager of a cement factory, a Nigerian Ambassador to Poland, a chairman of a party in the state, and once stabbed and left for dead while polling for his party. When has being a Deputy Governor become a betrayer to the Southern Kaduna struggle? And by the way, what is the struggle? Is it not to get rid of the forces of marginalization, domination, and internal colonialism? How is behaving like crabs in a bucket advance the cause of the struggle?
Besides that, what does age have to do with being a Deputy Governor? Is he the first to serve as second in command to a younger leader? Tell that to the leadership of Obama and Biden, and even to the previous candidates on the tickets of the Kaduna state elective administrations. If they feel that Governor Yero should have nominated a younger person from Southern Kaduna, then the objectors should explicitly say so, as a political suggestion, to the PDP and the Governor and stop such a displacement attitude on a powerless person. Granted, the names of Mark Nzamah, Jonathan Asake, and Rev. Joseph Hayab, were given by the Coalition of Southern Kaduna Youth, as alternatives, but is there a consensus by the people of Southern Kaduna?
There is no doubt that there is no culture of generational leadership grooming in Southern Kaduna (that is a subject for another time), but this is not the time to use Ambassador Bajoga as the scapegoat, because it is an unusual time.
We should play the cards that providence has dealt us.
Furthermore, if people of Southern Kaduna feel that the Chairman of PDP is a prize possession for Southern Kaduna, I have the following to say: First, PDP is not Southern Kaduna. There are Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), who are all competing for that electorate. So, of what use could Bajoga be if he had stayed as its chairman to advance the Southern Kaduna struggle? I strongly believe that the struggle is better advanced in the Deputy Governor role. We shouldn't behave as if everyone in Southern Kaduna is a PDP member or supporter. With the death of Yakowa, we will be wiser if we don't pack our eggs in one basket and play the political bride or bridegroom.
Second, who says that the chairman position will not be given to someone from Southern Kaduna? By adopting this defeatist conclusion, those who object to Nuhu's move have preempted PDP to give the chairmanship to another zone. The right choice would have been to accept Nuhu's move and to struggle to keep the chairmanship, under the argument that we had the governor and the chairmanship during Yakowa's regime. We should at least keep it, in addition to the Deputy Governor, if for anything, in honor of Yakowa. Half bread is better than none.
I don't sense the "voice of Jacob but the hands of Esau" in the appointment, regardless if Namadi Sambo had a hand in it or not. Let's look at it this way: in the order of things (logically), in Kaduna state power hierarchy/structure, there is the Governor, the Deputy Governor, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and the Chair person of the ruling party, in that order, all from the same political party. Now that Governor Yakowa (May he rest in Christ) is gone, and the Deputy, Yero, became the Governor. Governor Yero could have picked either the Speaker or the Chairman of his party to be Deputy. He picked the party's Chairman.
Would those who oppose the nomination have preferred that the Speaker would have been chosen? If so, Southern Kaduna would have been left with only the Chairmanship- a position that has jurisdiction over only the party constituencies. But with the Deputy Governor, and the possibility of retaining the Chairmanship (though now it seems remote, if only they had not preempted the decision in disfavor of Southern Kaduna, by this brouhaha about Bajoga's nomination), Southern Kaduna has someone in a statewide position, even if the occupant is simply a water carrier.
We should stop the bickering and not throw the baby out with the bath water. Let's give the Deputy Governor our moral and prayerful support. Perhaps, we can use him to groom younger (PDP?) politicians. And for starter, let us demand from the PDP that the chairmanship of the party remain zoned to Southern Kaduna.
I know we are still grieving the passing of Governor Yakowa (May his soul rest in Christ), and in grieving, we are bound to do or say things without deep thought. We should look on the brighter side and the future. Both Governor Yero and Deputy Governor Bajoga are now our leaders. They have three constituencies to please-the foremost is the whole state, and then their respective two state regional constituencies-Northern Kaduna and Southern Kaduna.
The voices of our elders is the voice of wisdom, and so, let's accept the wisdom of the spoke person of Southern Kaduna Elders, General (retired) Zamani Lekwot: "Bajoga is a proud son of the soil and as a community leader, whoever God has chosen we are duty bound to support him."
Realizing that the nomination is fait accompli, Southern Kaduna People in the Diaspora (SOKAD), in a letter of congratulation to the Deputy Governor, by its President, Dr. Likita Aminu, plea: "We ask that you honor his [Yakowa's] memory by continuing in the tradition of service to the people and striving to uphold the principles of equality, fairness and justice for all of the people of Kaduna State."
And in a letter to Governor Yero, the group stated: "SOKAD welcomes the appointment of Nuhu Bajoga as your Deputy, and hope you will benefit from his wisdom and civil service experience and work as a team for the unity, peace, security, and development of Kaduna State."
Come 2015, with other competing political parties, the state electorate, and particularly Southern Kaduna, will be the judges when they come courting and canvassing for votes. Thank God for democracy. But for now, let's shield our swords and rally to support the Deputy and the Governor, while we play, wisely, the cards that providence has dealt us. I am confident that this Greek gift that providence has given to us can be used to the advantage of Southern Kaduna.