Barely six days after the late governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, was buried, Kaduna State governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, together with his inherited commissioners, special advisers and other top government functionaries yesterday shunned the special prayers organised in honour of the late governor by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The prayer session was put together by the Kaduna State chapter of CAN in conjunction with state government. But the event was shunned by government functionaries and no reason was given.
The solemn inter-denomination service which held at the Anglican Cathedral along Ibrahim Taiwo Road commenced at about 10.00am and ended by 1:40pm, having only men of God, worshippers and journalists in attendance.
But, CAN state Chairman, Rev. Samuel Kraakevik Kujiyat, confirmed shortly after the event that the special prayer invitation letters were sent to the new governor and other personalities, saying they may have been too engaged to attend.
His words: “I cannot give reasons why the new governor did not come. We are not holding anything against anybody. The state government is still part of this inter-denominational prayer programme. “Vice-President Namadi Sambo himself personally called his Grace to appreciate this special prayer session for the late governor.
But I believe they may be engaged.” On his part, Archbishop Josiah Idowu Fearon of the Anglican Church, Kaduna prayed that the death of the former governor should go with the spate of bomb attacks on churches, saying God will not allow anybody to separate Christians and Muslims in the state.
“We pray that the places of worship will witness peace, no bomb in churches again. We want freedom and peace in Kaduna state,” he said. The guest speaker, the General Overseer of the Restoration Ministries, Kaduna, Rev. Tunde Bolanta, called on the people not to lose hope in a challenging moment like this.
Bolanta further prayed for the repose of Yakowa and that God should lead the new governor. “Sometimes we think that all hope is lost at a time like this but hope is not lost. We pray for divine guidance and wisdom for the new governor.”
Late governor Yakowa died in a navy helicopter that crashed in Nembe Bayelsa State with the immediate past National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi and their personal aides while returning from the burial of the father of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Research and Documentation, Douglas.
It will be recalled that the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Ameachi, had said during Yakowa’s burial in Fadan Kagoma, that the deceased true friends will be known after the burial.”
“All of us should not forget Yakowa’s family. After today we will know who truly are the friends of Yakowa,” he told mourners. An attempt to confirm the reason for the new governor’s absence at the special prayer without a representative from his media aide proved abortive.