By NBF News

About N500 million was realised at a fund raising dinner organised by the Yakowa-Mutunchi Campaign Organisation in support of the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa and his Deputy, Ramalan Yaro's bid for the 2011 gubernatorial election, Wednesday night at the Yar'Adua Indoor Hall of the Murtala Mohammed Square in Kaduna.

In his keynote address, Vice President Mohammad Namadi Sambo said there could never be proper development without continuity in government, adding that continuity from the past 12 years had made Kaduna State one of the most populous states in the country.

Namadi further stated that the policy of continuity would be supported, stressing that leadership was given by God to whom he wished and at the time he so desired. 'Therefore, in my own capacity as vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and member of the PDP, we endorse you as governor of Kaduna State in 2011.

'Our support is to prove that at the federal level, we are also fortunate to have our president who also was a deputy governor, governor, vice president and now president of the country,' he said.

He described Governor Yakowa as honest, detribalised and hardworking personality who he knew throughout their 25 years working relationship at different capacities in the state. In his remarks, Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa expressed appreciation to the chief launchers and the co-launchers and to Vice President Namadi Sambo whom he said, 'his attendance made the fund raising dinner a success.'

According to Yakowa, the dinner was organised primarily to assemble a cross-section of the people of the state, friends and well-wishers to particularly assist in his bid to continue as governor of the state.

'My greatest joy is not the amount of money gathered tonight but seeing the two illustrious sons of the state, Vice President Namadi Sambo and Senator Ahmed Makarfi gathered together for the event. That is why I am talking of continuity and consolidation in Kaduna State.

'Please support me; by the grace of God, I will not disappoint you. I will try to be the governor for all as I promised in my inaugural speech. 'Kaduna State is a model in the area of peace and security for other states to emulate and has also become talk of all states in the country,' he said. Earlier, the Chairman, Fund Raising Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi described the fund raising dinner as a participatory event for all politicians, as he called on the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State and Nigeria to close ranks and work together in unity to provide good governance to the people at every level of government.

He tasked members of the PDP to continue to work hard until the party won all the positions nominated to its candidates to contest in the forthcoming 2011general elections, adding that, 'fund raising is a very important event in the PDP and once we start it, we continue until victory prevails.' The highest donation of N50 million came from one of the chief launchers, AVM Ishaya Shekari (retd), followed by Alhaji Kashim Bukar with N25 million; the Chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Plc. (PAN), Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD) donated N23 million, while Chief Kola Adesina and Sir, Emeka Offor donated N10 million each.

Among the co-launchers were the Speaker, Mr. Ahmed Hassan Jumare who announced a donation of N10.6 million on behalf of himself and 33 members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly. Others were Senator Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the Fund Raising Committee, N4.5 million, Senator Caleb Zagi N500,000, Isaiah Ballat N10 million, while the two Kaduna Central Senatorial aspirants, Yusuf Hamisu Mai Rago and Uba Sani donated N1 million each.