Kingship Tussle: Gombe Governor Responsible For Orgy Of Violence In Biliri — SMBLF

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has said the Governor of Gombe State, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, should be held responsible for the recent outbreak of violence in Biliri chiefdom in the state over the appointment of a new king.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the forum described the state government as “driving the town down the valley of worsening insecurity”.



They said the governor is responsible for the orgy of violence and deployment of soldiers responsible for the death of over four peaceful protesters at the weekend.

It read in part, “The attention of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has been drawn to the violence and destruction of lives and property that have rocked Biliri, one of the chiefdoms in the Tangale Waja Nation in Gombe State over attempts by Governor Yahaya to impose an unpopular candidate as the new Mai Tangale.

“The Forum is also aware that the planned imposition of the new Mai Tangale is in line with a deliberately crafted plot by Hausa-Fulani oligarchy to impose a candidate that is unpopular with the people in order to disturb the peaceful co-existence of the people along the religious divide.

“We are shocked that Governor Yahaya who had vowed to stick to the choice of the Tangale kingmakers is now reneging on his promise. Going by the level of destruction unleashed on Biliri by thugs and hired arsonists that are opposed to the popular choice for a new paramount ruler for Biliri, it is clear that the Gombe State Government is driving the town down the valley of worsening insecurity.

“Without any form of doubt, the SMBLF has been convinced beyond all reasonable doubts that Governor Yahaya is behind the orgy of violence and deployment of soldiers responsible for the unprovoked murder of no fewer than four peaceful protesters at the weekend. The active participation of thugs, popularly called ‘Kalare’, an equivalent of Boko Haram, who were in the Governor Yahaya’s convoy were sighted destroying a church as the convoy departed Biliri town on Saturday.”

The group further alleged that Yahaya who should be the champion of peace has turned out to be the mastermind of the crisis.

It noted that the governor should have announced Musa Idris Maiyamba as the new Mai Tangale, having polled five votes from a total of nine votes, leaving the two candidates for the exalted position with two votes each.

They stated that Yahaya’s insistence on choosing a Muslim as the next Mai Tangale of Biliri is capable of not only worsening the security condition, but could also wreak havoc on the peaceful co-existence among the people. 

According to the group, the religious population of Biliri town which is 95 percent Christians and 5 percent Muslim is an indication that the people would succumb to the choice of accepting the successor to 14th Mai Tangale Abdu Buba Maisheru who was Chairman of the Northern Christians Traditional Rulers’ Forum.  

“For the record, Christians constitute 95 percent in Biliri that is one of the six chiefdoms in Tangale land. There is no doubt that out of the six chiefdoms in Tangale ethnic nationality, three are ruled by Muslims who constitute less than 10 percent, with Kaltungo having been turned into an emirate in order to bar Christians from aspiring to the Mai stool. 

“The other two chiefdoms with Muslim monarchs are Waja and Tula. In total, Muslims constitute less than 15 percent of the entire six chiefdoms. It is clear from the foregoing that the current attempt at imposing a Muslim on Biliri is aimed at entrenching a plot that is outside the Tangale ethnic nationality.”

The SMBLF also stated that Yahaya has shown to be a hater of Christianity and is deploying religious discrimination for political objectives.

“He is engaged in fanning embers of religious discord with the sole aim of throwing not only Gombe State into firestorms of religious acrimony but the North and the entire country.

“Just recently, Governor Yahaya refused to appoint the state senior judge, Justice Beatrice Iliya, as the State Chief Judge on account of her faith. He refused to appoint a legal luminary, Barr. Mela Nunghe (SAN) as Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General on the simple reason of not sharing the same faith with the governor. To suppress the people and bring them under Islamic dominance, he appointed a district head of Muslim faith to rule over Tudu Kwaya, an area comprising 75 percent Christians.” 

They described Yahaya as a present and future danger to the peaceful existence among different religious adherents,  who is determined to impose Muslims over people of other faiths.
  
The group urged Yahaya to desist from pursuing efforts aimed at imposing a candidate on the people. 

“We call on the governor who is involved in stoking the fire of ethnic and religious warfare over the new Mai Tangale to cease from plotting against the popular choice of the people. The peace of most of the Middle Belt region has been engulfed by worrisome ploys to enthrone Islamic domination by suppressing other faiths. Any attempt to discriminate and use political power to enthrone Muslims as monarchs in areas dominated by Christians might not augur well for the people.”

SMBLF also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and relevant security agencies to ensure that peace is not threatened by the actions of the governor.

“Finally, should there be any breakdown of law and order in Biliri and the entire state over the crisis rocking the Tangale Nation, we shall hold Governor Yahaya responsible for such. He has the power to stop the ominous clouds of frightening spectre threatening to rain on the Tangale Nation by simply announcing the popular choice of the people.”

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