As Christians, the world over celebrate the Easter, Tangale Community in Biliri Local Govt Area of Gombe State has reaffirmed to remain tolerant and hospitable in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In a message to mark the Easter, the General Secretary of the Community’s Development Association, Lamela Umaru went down the memory lane on when the Christian missionaries brought the gospel of peace to the Tangale hills.
It was the desire for peace to reign on earth, the message emphasised, that made the missionaries to leave the comfort and wealth of the Western world to come and dwell on Tangale hills, learn their language and fellowship with them.
“When the Tangale people received the gospel en masse it transformed the society. Not only were they no longer foreigners in the kingdom of God, but they also became preachers of the peace to many tribes within and outside Nigeria.
‘Easter is the main event that shows why although the Tangale nation is over 90% Christian, the people have always been tolerant and hospitable in accordance with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“This is partly the reason why enemies of Tangale have been jealous and looking for opportunities to tarnish the image of the people because they are peace-loving and gospel bearers. Nevertheless, we will not let the arm of the state, behaving like a colonial power, instigate us, stifle our voices, or intimidate us into subjecting our identity and cultural values to the Fulani conquest aficionados who are bent on installing a puppet of the emirate over our land.
” While we welcome the release of Mai Todi, one of our kingmakers who dared stand to defend our customs and traditions, we do so as those whose teeth are set on edge because our governor ate sour grapes.
“The criminal arrest of an innocent man and many more young people without any charges will not go unpunished by God, whether in this life or the life to come. Even at the point of their release after four weeks, the state still found flimsy excuses to ensure that they miss the Easter celebrations with their families.
” But we know that beyond human justice is the perfect judgment of God, which comes on all who oppose Him. May the Lord Himself speak for their cause.
“We reiterate to every Tangale person, that our tribal identity cannot be surrendered to the state. There are a few individuals who have betrayed our trust. “Their action reminds us of Judas who betrayed Christ on Good Friday. We warn them to carefully consider their actions against the will of society and find a path to the grace of God, who forgives all sins. Some are deceived in the name of religion, but we know that this is not about religion since we have had our traditional rulers from the two major faith traditions.
“Both Christianity and Islam are foreign religions to the Tangale people; some converted to one religion and some the other, yet no leader is judged by his or her religion. Jesus warns us that, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). May Easter remind all Tangale people of the need to pursue abundant life in Christ who offers it freely.
Happy Easter celebrations”_ the message ends.