By Iliya Kure
Tangale Community Overseas (TCO) says the Governor of Gombe State is not empowered by law to appoint, or choose a traditional ruler for any tribe or ethnic group in the state.
The TCO was reacting to comments made by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, on Africa Independent Television (AIT) on Friday, where he implied that the law on selection of traditional ruler requires three names to be forwarded by kingmakers to the governor for him to choose from.
Speaking in a discussion programme, THE INTERVIEW, broadcast on YouTube and Facebook Live, leaders of the Association said, it amounts to misinterpretation of the extant law for the SSG to make such a statement.
A member of the Mai Tangle confirmation and coronation committee of TCO, Pastor Andele Tadi, contended that a law assented to by a sitting governor should not be twisted by the same governor for any selfish purpose.
Quoting from the law, he said, “part VI number 20 (1) says, upon the death, resignation, removal or deposition of an Emir or a Chief, the Governor shall approve the appointment of an Emir or a Chief on the recommendation of the council of traditional kingmakers of the Emirate or Chiefdom”.
“(ii) The Governor may consult the State Council of Emirs and Chiefs on the appointment of an Emir or Chief”.
Andele stated that no section of the law empowers the governor to choose, other than approve what the kingmakers have done, calling on Governor Inuwa Yahaya to respect the customs and traditions of the Tangale people by allowing their choice to prevail.
Also commenting, another member of the committee, Ms Helen Bako said, Tangale people have spoken through the kingmakers, there should be no reason for unnecessary delays in announcing the new Mai Tangle by the governor.
According to her, the Tangale people are patiently waiting for Governor Inuwa Yahaya to announce Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba, who secured the highest vote in the election by Tangale kingmakers.
In his contribution, General Secretary of the TCO, Mr. Lamela Umaru Lakorok, condemns in strong terms the violence that erupted on Day 3 of peaceful protest by women in Tangale land, cautioning the protesters to resist any attempt by the state government and other individuals to instigate them.
Women in Billiri, the headquarters of Tangale chiefdom have embarked on peaceful protest since Wednesday, insisting that the governor announce the people’s choice, Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba, who has been chosen as the 16th Mai Tangle by the kingmakers.
The violence has led the state government to declare a 24-hour curfew in Billiri Local Government Area, as well as banning all forms of gathering.
Several groups including Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Middle Belt Forum, Tangale Community Development Association (TCDA), Tangale Intelligentsia Movement, and Tangale Community Overseas (TCO), have earlier made separate calls on the governor to approve and announce the winner, so as to dowse tension.
In an open letter to Gombe state governor, the Tangale Intelligentsia Movement question the delay in announcing the winner, saying it was not difficult to figure out the winner of the election.
“Sir, there were nine (9) kingmakers in total that voted. 5/9 (55.55%) voted for Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba, 2/9 (22.22%) went for Mr. Ahmed Magaji and another 2/9 (22.22%) went for Mr. Danladi M.
“Sir, the above results are clear indication of the people’s position, and since the King is not going to be administering over a territory other than the Tangale Kingdom, then the handwriting is legible enough as to who they desire to have as their ruler,” the letter said.
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also called on Governor Inuwa Yahaya to act on time by announcing the choice of the people, Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba.
CAN expressed worry that the situation had forced the peace-loving people of Tangale to the streets, creating tension, which it feared might degenerate.
The Association called on Christians in the state to embark on 3 days of fasting and prayers beginning Friday, to seek the face of God and His intervention over the situation in Tangale chiefdom.