The National Christian Elders Forum, led by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and other elder statesmen, has criticised the alleged planned imposition of Mai Tangale in the Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State.
The organisation said the plot was “another clear indication that democracy, in every form, is under threat in Nigeria.”
The NCEF called on Governor Muhammad Yahaya to adhere to the principles of democracy and announce the appointment of Dr Musa Maiyamba as the new Mai Tangale in line with the recommendation of the kingmakers of Tangale kingdom in the interest of justice.
The NCEF, which made the plea in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Mai Tangale: Democracy must prevail,’ by its Secretary, Bosun Emmanuel, said it “is the right of the people to choose their leader.”
It reads partly, “According to the tradition and customs of the Tangale nation, the kingmakers are mandated to elect the new Mai Tangale through a voting process. In the present exercise, three candidates who vied for the traditional stool received votes from the nine kingmakers as follows:
“Dr Musa Idris Maiyamba – five votes; Alhaji Ahmed Magaji – two votes; Alhaji Danladi Sanusi – two votes…. It is therefore surprising that the state government has so far failed to announce Dr Musa Idris Maiyamba as the new Mai Tangale. The people of Tangale have embarked on protests, which unfortunately led to the death of people, on the grounds that the government wants to announce its candidate that did not win the election process.
“This is another case of abuse of democracy which has been the bane of Nigeria and is responsible for the distress that has engulfed the entire country. The Gombe State Government should not promote the government of minority over the majority… Therefore, the will of the people must remain sacrosanct.”
…36 Speakers intervene in stand-off
Meanwhile, the Conference of 36 Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria has supported the imposition of curfew in Billiri LGA of the state to check the violence over the choice of Mai Tangale, but warned that government “must not play into the hands of hoodlums.”
The organisation also called on stakeholders to ensure that due process was followed, at no cost of human life and loss of property, to resolve all issues surrounding the traditional stool for peace to reign.