Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa (1948 – 2012) was a distinguished Abusite and prominent politician who was the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State from July 2005 until 20 May 2010 when he was sworn in as Governor, replacing former governor Namadi Sambo who had been sworn in as Vice President the day before.
Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa was born on the 1st of December 1948 in Fadan Kagoma, Jema’a Local Government, Kaduna State. He attended St. Mary’s Secondary School, Fadan Kaje, and St. John College, Kaduna after which he was admitted to prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated in 1972 with a B.Sc (Social Sciences).
Yakowa started his working career with the Civil Service of North Central State, serving as Division Officer, Secretary in the Military Governor’s Office, and Local Government Sole Administrator. He rose to Permanent Secretary in the Kaduna State civil service, heading the Ministries of Health, Works and Transport.
In 1990, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa transferred his services to the Federal Civil Service until the administration of General Sani Abacha appointed him Commissioner in Kaduna State from 1994 to 1997.
He returned to the Federal Civil Service after this posting and was Director Joint Services at the Ministry of Defense from February 1997 to August 1998, and then a Director at the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development until 14 June 1999, when he was appointed Permanent Secretary and retired.
After retirement and Nigeria’s return to democratic rule, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa joined politics where he actively worked for the Ahmed Makarfi campaign organization, helping Governor Makarfi get reelected. He also served as the chairman of the Rivers State Screening Committee for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003.
After a successful reelection, Governor Ahmed Makarfi appointed sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa the Secretary to the Government of Kaduna State in September 2003. He was elevated to the position of Deputy Governor of Kaduna State in July 2005, replacing Stephen Shekari, who had died on July 10.
In December 2006, he indicated interest to run for the office of governor and contested to become the PDP candidate for governor of Kaduna State, but lost out to Architect Namadi Sambo. Yakowa was eventually picked as the running mate to Namadi Sambo, who was elected as Governor.
In 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan nominates Kaduna State governor Namadi Sambo as his Vice President. On 20 May 2010, the day after Sambo had become vice-president, Yakowa was sworn in as Kaduna governor making him the first person from Southern Kaduna and first Christian to become governor in the state. He declared that “I am a governor for all, irrespective of religious or tribal affiliation”.
Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa successfully ran for election as Kaduna Governor in the 26 April 2011 polls on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In a close race, he polled 1,334,319 votes to clinch victory with a difference of 200,755 votes over the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate, Haruna Sae’ed, who came second with 1,133,564 votes.
Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa’s death
Tragedy struck On 15 December 2012! Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, the governor of Kaduna state died in a helicopter crash along with the former National Security Adviser Gen. Owoye Andrew Azazi (rtd) Yakowa’s friend Malam Dauda Tsoho, Azazi’s orderly Warrant Officer Mohamed Kamal.
Alongside Navy Commander Murtala Mohamed Daba, who was the pilot as well as the co-pilot, Navy Lieutenant Adeyemi Sowole while flying from Bayelsa state to Port Harcourt. They were returning from the funeral of Oronto Douglas’ father in Bayelsa state.
The death of Governor Yakowa brought grief and sadness not only to Kaduna State citizens but to all lovers of peace and peaceful coexistence all over the country.
In his short sting as governor of a very volatile state, Yakowa stamped his personal virtues of humility, tolerance, and accommodation to politics and governance in Kaduna State with very admirable results.