Human Rights Violations: Tangale Community Sends SOS To ICC, Human Rights Organisations

By Joseph Edegbo

The Tangale Community in Gombe State, North East Nigeria, has cried out over the continued denial of bail or hearing for the people arrested without charge for the past three weeks.

A statement by the General Secretary of Tangale Community Overseas, Lamela Umaru Lakorok said, the community’s concern now after the recent Chieftaincy tussle was for justice to prevail and reign in Gombe State.

He made it clear to the world that the Magistrate of Gombe State High Court’s denial of bail, or hearing for the tens of people arrested amounts to human rights violation, which is unacceptable.

“We will continue to call the attention of the International Criminal Court and Human Rights Organizations regarding the human rights abuse happening in Gombe State under the leadership of Governor Inuwa Yahaya who is bent on starting a genocide in Gombe South”,

According to the statement, the irrational and indiscriminate arrests of young men and women, including one of their traditional kingmakers, are proofs that the governor is out of control in the abuse of powers invested in him by the electorate.

Similarly, the physical and psychological abuses endured by these people, including a nursing mother who were arrested on the streets on a flimsy accusation should disturb any rational person, the statement adds.

The statement expressed concern over the continued imposition of curfew on the area stressing that it should be lifted to enable the community observe Easter which is one of  their major religious obligations.

“Easter is the most important event in Christendom. Christians all over the world will observe Good Friday and Easter Monday. These two days are holidays in Nigeria for that reason. Therefore, in observance of the sacred event, Christians in Tangale land will go to the hills before sunrise on Easter Monday as has been their tradition over the years”

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it added that, “Right after the Easter holidays, Muslims in Tangale land will join others around the world to observe the Fast of Ramadan.”

The statement said there was no one threatening anyone with violence or disrespect adding that the community intends to worship God as a constitutional right of all Nigerians.

According to the statement, no amount of hostility against the Tangale Christians and Muslims will stop them from guaranteeing the rights of the people to observe their religious festivities..

 

HERE UNDER IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS STATEMENT

PRESS RELEASE BY TANGALE COMMUNITY OVERSEAS (TCO)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, thank you for working to ensure the freedom of speech and the free flow of justice in Nigeria.

Today we make the following statement to the public regarding the ongoing crisis in Tangale land and invite the world to pay attention to the humanitarian crisis invented by the Governor of Gombe State, Mr. Inuwa Yahaya. The Tangale community has been under curfew for the past three weeks since the election of Dr. Musa I. Mai Yamba as the Mai Tangle.

The irrational and indiscriminate arrests of young men and women, including one of our traditional kingmakers, are proofs that the governor is out of control in the abuse of powers invested in him by the electorate. The physical and psychological abuses endured by these people, including a nursing mother should disturb any rational person. Yes, there is a nursing mother among the people arrested on the flimsy accusation of violence in the streets!

Let it be clear that we have no problems relating to and welcoming the security forces in our community. Over the last four weeks, they have seen and tasted the hospitality and kindness of the Tangale people.

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They are welcome to live among us and move their families to Tangale land anytime they wish. Our concern is for justice to prevail and reign in Gombe State. For that to happen, we seek to make clear to the world that the Magistrate of Gombe State High Court has denied bail or hearing for the tens of people arrested without charges for the last three weeks.

This human rights violation is unacceptable. We will continue to call the attention of the International Criminal Court and Human Rights organizations regarding the human rights abuse happening in Gombe State under the leadership of Governor Inuwa Yahaya who is bent on starting a genocide in Gombe South.

Easter is the most important event in Christendom. Christians all over the world will observe Good Friday and Easter Monday. These two days are holidays in Nigeria for that reason. Therefore, in observance of the sacred event, Christians in Tangale land will go to the hills before sunrise on Easter Monday as has been their tradition over the years.

There is no one threatening anyone with violence or disrespect in any way. Consequently, we fail to see the rationale for the ongoing curfew in our land. We intend to worship God as a constitutional right of all Nigerians. Right after the Easter holidays, Muslims in Tangale land will join others around the world to observe the Fast of Ramadan.

The fact that they will need to run errands and provide meals for their families before sunrise and after sunset naturally requires that they break the curfew imposed by Governor Inuwa Yahaya. We will stand by their rights to observe one of the five pillars of Islam. Civil disrespect of a totalitarian government is protected freedom of speech, and religious freedom trumps the delegated powers of the state.

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No amount of hostility against the Tangale Christians and Muslims will stop us from guaranteeing the rights of our people to observe their religious festivities.

Finally, the Tangale people have shown that their tribal identity cannot be trampled upon by anyone or their stooge (s). Mal. Danladi Mai Shanu is not the Mai Tangle, and no amount of cajoling, bribery, or divide-andrule tactic will change that. We had advised him in the past, that if he truly loved Tangale he should not agree to be a puppet of his master, Inuwa.

His disregard of the choice of the people he daydreams to rule shows he is not interested in anything but causing chaos in Tangale land and the destruction of the people’s way of life, customs, and traditions. His recent laughable attempt to form a Caretaker committee for TCDA shows his ignorance of the Association and its constitution. We acclaim the TCDA trustees and Tangale Elders’ Forum for articulating the position of the Tangale people and for speaking our values in their recent Communique.

The people of Tangale will continue to stand for the truth, honor their heritage, customs, culture, and traditions. We will continue to remain hospitable to strangers and co-exist as a religiously pluralistic society. We wish all Tangale Christians Happy Easter celebration.

Long Live Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamba, Long Live Tangale Land, Long Live Gombe State, Long Live Nigeria

Signed:
Lamela Umaru Lakorok
General Secretary, TCO
For Tangale Community Overseas (USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Australia)
For Tangale Community Development Association

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