The Tangale Community Development Association says Kaduna State’s governor, Ahmed El-Rufai, may have instigated his Gombe State’s counterpart on the continued delay in announcing Dr Musa Maiyamba as Mai (traditional ruler of) Tangale.
The newly selected Mai Tangale, Dr Musa Maiyamba, is a strong Christian while Governor Inuwa Yahaya, a Muslim, is alleged to have preference for another candidate of same faith to fill the vacant stool.
Secretary General of Tangale Community Development Association, Abuja branch, Mr Simon Brief, stated this while addressing newsmen alongside leaders of Middle Belt Forum (MBF) in Abuja at the weekend.
While calling on Gombe governor to do the needful by annoucing Maiyamba as the new king having scored 5 of the 9 kingmakers votes, Brief lamented that Inuwa’s recent actions appear to relegate Christians in the state to the background.
“Apart from the appointment of (a Muslim) Hakimi of Hudu Kwaya which is predominantly Christian, when it was time to constitute his executive, the most senior lawyer (Christian) who supposed to be the Attorney General of the state was given the commissioner for special duties. What special duties? When the head is loaded and was recently confirmed Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Barrister Mela Nuge.
“Here comes again the time to appoint Chief Judge of the state because the tenure of the former one elapsed, he (governor) appointed an acting, which suppose to be the most senior (judge), Justice Beatrice Iliya, she was denied. The time for acting elapses, he kept appointing same person, NJC, NJI went into it (the issue) and as I am talking to you now she has not been confirmed as the chief judge of the state and she is Tangale person, and now this (issue of Mai Tangale).
“We heard of the news of certain appearance of a certain governor from a neighbouring state, which came to the state and when I asked which governor, they said he was Governor Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State. There is an adage in Tangale which when interpreted in English means – if an elephant has medicine for purging or diarrhoea she should start treating hersef first. How come your state is on fire and you have the efffontery, and you are loaded with advises to advise another state governor who is living peacefully.
“After the exit of El-Rufai from Gombe state, it is becoming tough for the governor to act on his own because his mind was now corrupted by the appearance of his friend,” Brief said.
While condemning the violence that trailed the protest over government delay in annoucing new Mai Tangale, Brief said the people of the area have been living peacefully irrespective of their faiths and warned against instigation of religious crisis in the land.
He said : “This struggle is not an issue of religion because the immediate past Mai Tangale was a Christian, who got elected after a Muslim died and that Muslim inherited a Muslim seat, Dr Iliyasu Maiyamba, then came Tafida Iliyasu Maiyamba all Muslims.
“We have never had it bad. We never fought ourselves because a Muslim or Christian is the one coming and it won’t happen this time around except somebody want to instigate it, and we dare say that any effort or attempt to truncate the will of the people will be met with serious resistance.
“We are ready we are not a fighting community but when you are pushed to the wall and you have anywhere to escape, you have to push back to get a road to escape. ”
Also speaking, elderstateman and Gombe State Chairman of Middle Belt Forum, Keftin Amuga, said the governor’s action in sidelining Christians showed he might be pursuing an Islamic agenda.
“From the feelers I have I am very suspicious of the motive Governor Inuwa has against our people, because anything which has to do with our people, he tries to bring in element of religion.
“I am suspicious and to even start believing he is an Islamist governor. Last year, when there was a vacant seat of a district head, though it is a predominantly Christian area, Hudu Kwaya, he went to appoint a Muslim there.
“When there was the time for him to constitute his administration after been swore in, by the constitution our local government suppose to be represented by our people, he now took up a settler in Tangale land and a Muslim.
“And this is the third time again, our people voted and this is an area that is 90 percent Christians, our people voted for a king, of the nine kingmakers five voted for Dr Idris Musa Maiyamba, who is a very strong Christian and the two that came far behind him are Muslims, from the feelers the governor is prefering to appoint Danladi Maishanu as the Chief of Tangale…
“Is the governor really an Islamist and being discriminating against our Tangale people because we are Christians or what? What offence have we committed?” the elder stateman queried.
On his part, Dr Bitrus Pogu, President Middle Belt Forum, urged the Gombe’s governor to allow the will of the people prevail in the choice of Mai Tangale irrespective of his religion.
“If the late Mai Tangale was a Christian and he worked with the governor, irrespective whether he is a Christian or Muslim the people want now, it is not the business of the governor to walk into tradition. It is the people tradition. If it is the population that matters, everybody knows the Tangale people are predominantly Christians but even in Kathulgo the traditional ruler is a Muslim and they are living with him and the other parts of Tangale lands have traditional rulers, who are Muslims.
“But these people decidedto elect a Christian this time, what is the problem with that? ” it is not political but traditional position,” Pogu said.