Gombe imposes curfew over Mai Tangale crisis, deploys soldiers, police

The lingering crisis rocking the appointment of a new Mai Tangale, the traditional ruler of Billiri in Gombe State, took a new dimension on Friday with imposition of 24- hour curfew on Billiri.

But protesters insisted that Governor Inuwa Yahaya can only make peace by announcing Dr. Musa Maiyamba, who polled 5 out of 9 votes by kingmakers as the Mai Tangale.

The remaining four kingmakers voted 2 each for Ahmad Magaji and Mr Danladi.

A member of the community, Benjamin Dangoma, who spoke with The Nation, said their grievances were genuine and cannot be trampled upon by the Governor.

According to him, the Governor has started a process that produced Dr. Musa Maiyamba as the highest scorer and should therefore not truncate it by choosing any other person.

“This is what we want, this is what the people are agitating for. Any other choice is not going to bring peace to this area,” he said.

The Secretary to the State Government, Abubakar Njodi, said the curfew is as a result of eruption of violence in Billiri town, which has degenerated to security threat to lives and property.

“The government affirmed the need for peaceful coexistence among the citizenry and commitment to the protection of lives and properties. Consequently, the Government has suspended all forms of gathering in Billiri Local Government area.

“All security agencies are hereby directed towards ensure strict compliance to this directive.

“All citizens are expected to comply with the directive except those personnel providing essential services,” he said .

Commissioner of Police Hammed Maikudi, while briefing journalists in his office, appealed to residents to embrace dialogue in expressing their grievances rather than engaging in actions that infringe on the right of others.

Maikudi said the protesters should allow the Governor to perform his constitutional role in the appointment of the new Mai Tangale.

“As at today, the Governor has not made any pronouncement on this matter, we are appealing to the protesters to allow the governor to play his role in this matter.

“On our part we have chosen to embrace dialogue but we also have the option to use force and we don’t want to do this,” he said.

He said the community should desist from making inflammatory statements that could lead to breach of peace in the area, adding that all hands must be on deck to maintain peace and order in the community.

Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Biliri local government, Rev. John Joseph, appealed for calm amongst residents following protests over the delayed appointment of the new Mai Tangle.

Joseph, in a chat with The Nation, said it had been on record the people of Billiri were peace -loving.

He said the people of Tangale were not known to be violent, calling “on our sons and daughters to remain calm and law abiding.

“They should not take the laws into their hands as we would do all within our powers and the ambit of the law to ensure that the people’s choice is given to them,” he appealed.

The cleric appealed to the state government to do “what is just, fair and right in the shortest time to douse tension and calm all frayed nerves.”

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