Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahya says the crisis in communities in Billiri local government area was orchestrated by some unpatriotic individuals who thought they could blackmail the government into announcing their preferred candidate as the new Mai Tangale.
He said it is within his powers to appoint any of the three recommended candidates to become the new Mai Tangle, and his administration will never cow into any blackmail, threat, intimidation or witch-hunt from any individual or group no matter how highly placed.
The governor said this on Saturday in a state broadcast on the recent crisis in Biliri local government area over the appointment of new Mai Tangale.
Several people have been killed and houses burnt during the crisis in the area, a situation that had led the state government to impose a 24 hour curfew on Friday.
The people had accused the government of trying to impose an unpopular candidate as the new Mai Tangale.
The former Mai Tangale, Dr Abdu Buba Mausharu, died on January 11, 2021.
The governor said: “Let it also be clear that no official pronouncement was made about any candidate before, during and after the eruption of violence in Billiri local government area.
“I approached the Mai Tangale succession process with a high sense of responsibility. Because, as part of Gombe State’s cultural tradition, any decision I take will have far reaching implications on not only the Tangale chiefdom but the entire Gombe State. That’s why I undertook widespread consultations, conducted background checks and engaged in personal reflection in order to arrive at a decision that is in the best interest of the people and the state.
“The people of Gombe State have a history of peaceful coexistence and interrelationship among our various tribes and religions. This relationship should not be allowed to suffer because of the selfish interest of some violent minority who seek to turn the succession process into a religious contest.
“The succession battle is a Tangale cum Gombe State affair and all the three recommended candidates are eminently qualified Tangale princes by virtue of their royal ancestry to the Mai Tangale stool. By history, and in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, religion is not a criteria in selecting the new Mai Tangale or any public office for that matter.”
“Those conflict merchants who seek to profit from this violence by setting brothers upon brothers, families upon families, and communities upon communities, will soon be made to face the full wrath of the law.”