The Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has expressed concerns over the current turmoil and security apprehension in Biliri, on the selection of a new Mai Tangale in Gombe state.
Middle Belt Forum National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, in a statement, explained that the people are exasperated over an attempt by the Gombe State Government to foist an unpopular candidate as the new monarch.
“From the storm of opposition that has trailed the selection of a new successor for the 14th Mai Tangale, His Royal Highness Abdu Buba Maisharu, it is clear that the people are exasperated over an attempt by the Gombe State Government to foist an unpopular candidate as the new monarch.
The forum noted that before now, nine (9) Tangale kingmakers had selected Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba to succeed the 14th Mai Tangale.
“The newly elected monarch had polled a total of five (5) votes, while the other two contestants polled two votes each. As the Tangale Chiefdom was awaiting the formal announcement of the new monarch, reports had filtered in that the state government had concluded plans to announce an unpopular candidate as the new Mai Tangale.”
The forum recalled that during the funeral of the late monarch, Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State had promised to stand by the choice of the kingmakers.
“Regrettably, after the screening of candidates for the Mai Tangale stool, the plot to supplant the popular candidate with another took a centre stage.
“It is unfortunate that despite assurances by the governor that there won’t be any form of interference from the government and that he would support the choice of the Tangale people, present happenings on the choice of a new monarch is deeply enmeshed in unfair manipulation,” the forum explained.
The statement said it was unfortunate that the Gombe State government which was still under the hangover of its refusal to appoint a female Christian Chief Judge from the Tangale ethnic group, would again choose to promote discord among the peaceful Tangale people because of its desires ensure a monarch of the Muslim faith is imposed on the people.
The forum said, “For the record, the late Mai Tangale was not only a Christian traditional ruler but also the chairman of the Northern Christian Traditional Rulers’ Forum who ruled over a chiefdom that is predominantly Christian.”
The forum fears that if the planned imposition of an unpopular choice on the Tangale people is not halted, frightening insecurity and tension may force the fragile unity of the Chiefdom to cascade down the valley of a conflagration.
“The MBF would continue to fight for the rights of its members irrespective of their religious or ethnic disposition. The forum is totally opposed to any form of manipulation that would affect the peaceful coexistence in the Tangale nation. For the sake of peace, we call on Governor Yahaya not to temper with the popular choice of the Tangale people,” the statement assured.
The forum warned the government against promoting the breakdown of law and order in the process of manipulating the popular will of the people.
The forum called on the governor to retrace his steps and confirm Dr. Maiyamba as the new Mai Tangale whose choice has been endorsed by five out of the nine kingmakers.