William Attah, Gombe
Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has assured non indigenous communities living in Gombe of his Government’s commitment to their safety.
He gave the assurance during a parley with leadership of various communities living in Gombe State following the violence that erupted during the peaceful protest by youths and women in Billiri Local Government Area last weekend.
They were protesting the delay in announcing a new Mai Tangle, the Paramount ruler of the Tangale tribe in Gombe State.
He told those at the meeting that he will do whatever he could including staking his life to ensure everyone in Gombe State lives peacefully without any fear or molestation.
According to him, he has no right as a Governor to infringe on anybody’s right since he swore to protect all people in the State without fear or favour.
He described the violent protest in Billiri as despicable and something that was avoidable if only the people remained calm and allowed him to exercise his constitutional responsibilities as the Governor of the State.
He said, all his actions before and during the mayhem was within the ambit of the law up to the time a 24-hour curfew was imposed on Billiri when the peaceful protest turned violent.
“I will not take lightly any act of banditry. Your peace is of great concern to me and we did everything possible to ensure there was no reprisal attack”, he said while commending the Police and other security agencies for their efforts in quelling the violence.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Inter Community Relations, Chief Cornelius Ewuzie, thanked the Governor for the Government’s prompt action in quelling the violence and vowed to remain behind the Governor in all his efforts to keep the State peaceful.
Various community leaders comprising the Igbo, Yoruba and the chairman of the committee of elders of non indigenous communities all bared their minds and encouraged the Governor to continue with his efforts at bringing lasting peace to Billiri and the entire State.
While calling on the Governor to relax the curfew on Billiri, the community leaders said it will go a long way in ameliorating the hardship the people are currently facing.
Meanwhile, the Gombe State chapter of the Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians (CNNC) has condemned the violence that followed the peaceful protest over delay in announcing the new Mai Tangle.
The Congress also appealed to Governor Inuwa Yahaya to honour what they described as the manifested will of the Tangale people by immediately declaring the popular candidate in the just concluded election for the stool of the Mai Tangle which was carried out by the Tangale king makers.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Gombe by the Gombe State Chairman of the CNNC, Dudu Mamman Manuga, the Congress called on the leadership in Tangale land to stand as true leaders and check the exuberance of the youth.
According to the CNNC Chairman, “we do not need violence at a time like this or at any other time in Gombe State.”
The call was made following the violence that later characterized what had earlier started as a peaceful protest last Tuesday, but went violent on Friday. The State Government then imposed a 24 hour curfew which was still in force as at the time of filing this report.
The Congress, however, said that in announcing the new Mai Tangle, the Governor should honour the choice of the people of Tangale.
The statement reads, ” We call on the Gombe State Governor to honour the manifested will of the Tangale people not because of any primordial sentiments, but for the fact that even our electoral laws demand that a person with the highest votes should be declared winner and that declaration is done immediately the results are obtained. We therefore appeal that the will of the people be respected “.
On the violence that erupted during the peaceful protest, the Congress expressed utmost dismay over the happenings saying, “the Congress is more saddened by how a peaceful protest degenerated into violence with a wanton destruction of properties and people’s livelihood’.
“The Congress and indeed all of Gombe State and beyond are aware that indeed a conclusive election by the kingmakers took place, during which a winner emerged by virtue of having the highest votes cast, and this has been the method the Tangale people employed from time past to decide on who will rule over them.
“We call on the Gombe State House of Assembly whom we believe to be made up of men and woman who are true representatives of the people and who know what it means to be elected and declared winner immediately to intervene so that peace will reign.
“The Congress called on all religious leaders in Gombe State and indeed every well meaning citizen of Gombe State to embark on fervent prayers so that peace will reign in Gombe State”, the statement appealed.