After days of several protests, Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Yahaya, on Wednesday, announced the appointment of Malam Danladi Maiyamba, as the new traditional ruler of Tangale people, also known as Mai Tangale.
The protest for the stool was as a result of the delay in announcing the winner in the first selection process which the Christian dominant religion in Tangale pushed Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba with their votes to represent them as the new Mai Tangale, an effort they said the Governor was bent on subverting.
However, a lawyer who does not want his name on print said religion had never been an issue in the appointment of Mai of Tangale, agreeing that Christians are 90 per cent in the majority, he added that out of the last 15 Mais; 12 were traditionalists, two were Muslims and one a Christian being the late Maisheru.
According to him: “Christians are the majority in Tangaleland. The percentage should be above 90 per cent Christians and less than 10 per cent Muslims. We also have people who are Tangale traditional worshippers. Being a Christian has never been a condition to be a Mai. The next Mai will be the 16th Mai Tangale. We have had two Muslim Mais, one Christian Mai and 12 were all traditionalists who practised the Tangale traditional religion”, he said.
Perhaps, the race for a new Mai of Tangale started on November 7, 2020, when the now late Mai Tangale chiefdom of Gombe State and the then Chairman, Association of Northern Christian Traditional Rulers, Abdu Buba Maisheru II, announced the demise of his son, John, the Santurakin Tangale.
The development allegedly offered fresh angles into the selection process of a new Mai Tangale of Billiri in the Billiri Local Government Area of the State.
Our correspondent learnt that in the build-up to the process, Governor Inuwa Yahaya, supported a free, credible poll, and promised to support any eligible candidate. But the appointment of a new Mai Tangale led to a protest in the area by those who felt that the process was being manipulated. Women and youths blocked Gombe/Yola road crisscrossing Billiri council area and vehicles were forced to make hasty diversions or stay on the highway.
The protest reportedly led to the death of three, destruction of property and worship centres, thus forcing the government to impose a curfew in the area. The police also arrested some persons in connection with the incident.
The Governor who was away in Abuja during the protest felt disappointed on the news of the protest, accusing Musa Idris Maiyamba who was favoured in the polls for not having the ability to stop his supporters from protesting.
The Governor agreed that there was delay in announcing Musa Yamba as elected by the Kingmakers, but gave reasons that as the number one citizen of the State, he is duty bound to make the announcement while he is in the State.
He said he would not be cowed into making mistakes and appealing for calm, he said he had been involved in far- reaching consultations on the list presented to him.
“I’m telling you in all honesty that I will not surrender my rights and privileges or power as a governor. As a governor, I have the sole authority to install, appoint, or depose any chief or emir in Gombe State. It is not my own making but it is God that made it possible for me with your support that whosoever becomes governor can do whatsoever”.
While presenting the letter of appointment to the new Mai Tangale, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ibrahim Jalo, said the decision was based on the recommendation of the Kingmakers of the Tangale Chiefdom.
However reacting to the Governor’s decision in appointing Malam Danladi Maiyamba instead of Musa Idris Maiyamba, a Christian body appealed for calm among the residents.
The Christian body said people should not take the law into their own hands as stakeholders would do all within their powers and the ambit of the law to ensure that the people’s choice is given to them. Government should do what is just, fair and right in the shortest time to douse tension and calm frayed nerves.
“The court of law is the only hope of the common man, we should keep faith alive and wait for justice rather than pick up arms and destroy ourselves”.
Another group who does not want their name on print also accuse Musa Idris Maiyamba for not prevailing on the protest, adding that the stool of the Mai Tangale is to uphold peace.
“How can the Governor trust someone to become a Monarch who cannot hold his people together”, the group said.
However, another group in Gombe who also do not want their name in print, has accused the Kingmakers, alleging that they were induced with the sum of N5m each by the State government to subvert their initial decision of voting Musa Idris Maiyamba.