By Hon. Rambi Ibrahim Ayala
“Saban ka kodi neji” so goes an ancient Tangale adage meaning there is always an appropriate time to speak.
First of all, let me most sincerely thank the thousands of well-meaning individuals and groups who have been on bended knees praying and in various ways meant well for the Tangale Nation since the demise of His Royal Majesty Dr. Abdu Buba MAISHERU II The 15th Mai Tangle who served us deligently before joining our ancestors, a journey which all of us must one day undertake.
Immediately after the burial of the late Mai we were hopeful that the New Mai will emerge according to the Customs and Traditions of the Tangale Nation (I will come back to that) but to my greatest dismay things started taking an entirely different shape. As a representative of the people, we made attempts to meet with government to offer suggestions that may guide the process, especially when
Kingmakers started making distress calls on us about an attempt to induce them monetarily in favour of a purported government candidate, from a stake of three million Naira to as high as 10 million naira per person by a member of the State Executive Council from Billiri Local Government, a courtship which they turned down knowing that historically Tangale is a federated unit, with each kingmaker representing his people and holds their vote in trust. With this constant concern of the Kingmakers over the attempt to induce them, we approached the Chairperson of Billiri Local government to convey their concern, she informed us that the Governor assured that government has no interest in who emerges as the New Mai Tangle and that whosoever the people through their kingmakers ELECT (as it was done) he will respect the wishes of the people of Tangale.
Is this time for bulk passing? No, it is time to unearth the truth and assist government so that we can move forward.
We were privy to correspondences between the traditional counsel with government, where in keeping with laid down traditions it communicated the desire to elect the New Mai Tangle and went further to suggest a date but was told that the date chosen wasn’t convenient to government. This development heightened anxiety in the land.
Let me at this point commend most sincerely the leadership of the security agencies in the state especially the DSS, the Nigeria Police and Army for living true to their ought of allegiance and exhibiting a high sense of professionalism.
The Gombe State Chieftancy Law and The Tangale Customs and Traditions
It is a given that laws are made for the good governance, well-being and orderliness in the society. In doing so, peculiarities of people and ethnic nationalities are taken into cognizance. I want to commend our Executive Governor His Excellency Alh. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, because when we received the Executive Bill referred, it evidently took into account the divergence in Gombe State and so it was easy for us at the legislative arm to do the needful by passing it into law.
Section 19(1) states that “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 the Chiefdom.” Which in this case the customs and Traditions of the Tangale Nation it elects through their Kingmakers one person and send to government. As a matter of fact, the law went further in Section 21(2) to state that, “the Governor may dispense with the need of recommending three persons if the Customs and Tradition of a PARTICULAR AREA dictate otherwise. This again is clear even to a sophomore in a good faculty of law that this provision speaks to the Customs and Tradition of the Tangale Nation. I have no doubt in my mind that The Governor will do the needful.
Occupy Billiri That Turned Infamous
After the ELECTION of the New Mai Tangle was conducted amidst a water tight security, where even my humble self, our Member House of Representatives Honourable Victor Mela Danzaria and some elders of Tangale of whom were General SA Audu, His Excellency Hon. Charles Iliya, Ambassador Salisu Ahmed, General Nuhu Adeh and a host of others were denied access to observe the conduct of the exercise.
But we patiently waited outside for the outcome, at the end of the exercise we were to informed later that Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba polled 5 votes out of the 9, Alh. Ahmed Magaji got 2 votes while Alh. Danladi Sanusi got 2 votes in accordance with the Customs and Tradition of the Tangale Nation.
Following this result was transmitted to the government, as expected there was wild jubilation that a Mai has been elected. The mounting anxiety when result was not officially announce eventually appeared to have midwife the protest. At the day two of the protest, we were summoned to a security meeting at the instance of the State Deputy Governor His Excellency Manasseh Daniel Jatau, PhD in attendance were
Hon. Victor Mela Danzaria
Hon. Rambi Ibrahim Ayala
Hon. Tulfugut Memei Kardi
Hon. Margaret Bitrus
Hon. Mela Audu Nunghe, SAN
HON. Bappah Abubakar, FNSE
HON. Nitte Amangal
Hon. Babaji Babadidi
Group Captain Bitrus Bilal, where we met with government delegation and security Chiefs in the State.
At the meeting tears were flowing freely from the eyes of those of some of us from Billiri, Mela Audu Nunghe, SAN led the band weeping uncontrollably over the sad, bizarre and unfortunate incidence going on back home. Far reaching decisions were taken it was our unanimous position the delegation from Billiri that the people were earning for a declaration of the winner of the election and we pleaded with government consider it, it was also agreed that we return back home and pacify the protesters. This we attempted doing when Hon. Victor Mela Danzaria, Hon. Tulfugut Memei Kardi, myself and a group of journalists, we were not only denied access to Billiri but we were humiliated and turned back. Not wanting to give up, yesterday we went back this time with the Chairperson Hon. Margaret Bitrus, again our effort became fruitless. The protesters one point demand was declaring Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba as the Mai Tangle.
We were call names, we were regarded as sell-outs, we were spited upon, we were threatened with death, we saw indescribable venom of anger being poured on us by women and youth and alas our worst fears came upon us and things fall apart.
We passionately appeal to His Excellency the Executive Governor to save our land and save us from this colossal embarrassment and a state of despair by doing the needful, that way he will further engrave indelibly his name in the World of Fame.
Amb. Rambi Ibrahim Ayala
Member, Representing Billiri East
Gombe State House of Assembly