Yero’s Uncommon Leadership Style
Since his assumption of office following the demise of his predecessor, the late Sir Patrick Yakowa, Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has exhibited exemplary leadership that depicts him as selfless, fair and competent in all ramification. His revelation of a frosty relation with his late boss is no longer news, but it was indicative that as providence will have it, the two leaders were able to settle their differences before the sudden death of Yakowa. That disclosure by Yero, no doubt, planted tension in the minds of not a few aides of the late governor who were accused of being the masterminds of the discord between the two leaders. At that time, the aides exploited albeit negatively their closeness to the late governor to sow seeds of confusion in the corridors of power in Kaduna State.
It is now common knowledge within and outside the state that Yero’s political survival under the late Yakowa was basically as a result of the maturity of his late boss and the patience of the present governor. Many had expected that the new governor will move swiftly after taking oath of office to dismantle all structures put in place by his late predecessor. But in what is now playing out as a disappointment to many political pundits, Yero has retained the old order over a month since he became governor. At least for now he has not dissolved the state executive council while heads of government agencies and parastatals appointed by the late governor are still in office performing their functions. This act by Yero has further confirmed his sterling leadership qualities as one with a forgiving heart ready to carry all stakeholders along in building a peaceful Kaduna State irrespective of political, religious and ideological differences.
His attribute as a tolerant leader manifested shortly after he took over the mantle of leadership. The first critical issue that confronted Yero as a governor was the appointment of a deputy. The circumstance of the death of the late Yakowa had generated interest from various groups in the state and beyond on who occupies the position of deputy governor.
In keeping with the political tradition of balancing the equation, a deputy was to be selected from the southern part of the state. In his characteristic leadership style that places high premium on an all-inclusive process, Yero involved all stakeholders in the state in appointing his deputy. Yero did held series of meetings and consulted widely before settling for the former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga as his deputy.
This decision was by no means a show of political naivety as it is clearly an intelligent move by the governor to have a mix of youthful dynamism and will power with elderly experience. Yero is still within the age bracket of a youth while Bajoga is an elder with many years of experience in politics and business. The age gap between the two will surely ensure mutual respect and cooperation which is the oil that lubricates the wheel of a vibrant government capable of delivering democracy dividends to people of the state. Yero therefore scored a strong point in his choice of Bajoga as deputy. And so far, the governor has been steering the ship of the state with commendable pace that continues to endear him to the people of the state. Yero has repeatedly pledged to sustain programmes and policies of the late Yakowa as long as it is for the benefit of the people of the state. As a leader that places the highest premium on security of lives and property of people in the state, Yero recently distributed 40 vans fully equipped with state of art communication facilities and other gadgets to the state security outfit popularly called ‘Operation Yaki’ to facilitate security surveillence in the state. In a similar move aimed at cementing the existing peace in the state, Governor Yero approved the disbursement of cheques totaling N410million as assistance to victims of the 2011 post-election crisis.
Sensing a new dawn in Kaduna State, the American government through its envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Terrence McCulley has expressed readiness to re-establish a consulate in the state. Speaking at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna the envoy said the U.S will make its presence felt again in Kaduna to serve as “a window to reach millions of people in the North”.
Having observed that high unemployment rate amongst youths in the state has become a major source of crime, the governor has commenced plans to provide about 6,000 jobs for women and youths across the 23 local government areas of the state through the Subsidy Re-Investment Programme, (SURE-P). There are also plans by the Yero administration to further create more jobs through commercial agriculture. The governor therefore solicited the support of the people and government of the U.S in that sector to make it attractive to the teeming youths in the state.
Leaders must be given the benefit of the doubt and should be allowed the space and support to succeed. So far, Governor Yero has exhibited all the qualities of an astute leader; one capable of evolving a peaceful and prosperous Kaduna State. Only an intelligent politician that possesses innate and rare leadership abilities could hit the ground running in the circumstance of Yero’s emergence as governor. No doubt, Kaduna is about to witness an unprecedented transformation, therefore all and sundry in the state must join hands to take the state to greater heights.
—Maiyaki is the director general, Media and Publicity to Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero