President Muhammadu Buhari’s communication minister Isa Pantami and other Muslim leaders plotted to assassinate former Kaduna governor Patrick Yakowa, a newly-uncovered document purportedly shows.
It was unclear whether the conclusion of the Muslim leaders was responsible for the helicopter crash that killed Yakowa, Peoples Gazette reported.
The news platform said it, on Wednesday night, contacted Pantami about the damning revelations in the document but got no response from the minister.
Yakowa was the first Christian governor of Kaduna, which is divided between Muslim and Christians, although with a mostly Muslim population.
Pantami chaired the July 13, 2010, meeting of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), a foremost Islamic body led by Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar, where it was agreed that Yakowa and his family must be eliminated because he was a Christian leader leading a state in the Muslim-dominated North.
“We must either use the security or other means to eliminate the governor, his family and all those they perceive as supporting him,” Pantami and other leaders said in their communique adopted at the meeting held at Bauchi Central Mosque.
The meeting complained that Yakowa was making moves to contest for governor in 2011 and he had the support of former President Goodluck Jonathan, a fellow Christian.
Yakowa became governor in 2010 when Jonathan tapped Namadi Sambo, then Kaduna governor, as his vice-president.
Yakowa contested in 2011 and won a substantive four-year term. He was killed in a helicopter crash barely a year later in 2012, alongside former national security adviser Owoeye Patrick Azazi.
The event had long been suspected to be more than just an accident, and investigation into what happened was never concluded or made public.
Pantami did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the 2010 meeting, Peoples Gazette reported.
A document about the meeting surfaced as Pantami came under pressure to step down from office after Peoples Gazette uncovered details of his past inflammatory statements. The minister said he was always happy about the massacre of non-Muslims.
He also said now-neutralised terrorist Osama bin Laden was a better Muslim than himself and wished Al-Qaeda and the Taliban success in their terrorism.