Community Worried Over Govt. Silence on New Mai Tangle

A group, under the auspices of Tangale Community Overseas, has expressed worry over the continuous silence of the Gombe State Government since the election by the kingmakers.

The group, in a press release signed by the General Secretary of the Tangale Community Overseas, Lamela Umaru Lakorok, expressed concern that three days have elapsed since the election by the kingmakers, but the governor has remained silent about his responsibility to announce the decision of the people which the group said is a cause for concern for the Tangale people.

Making reference to the Gombe State Chieftaincy Law 2021, they said: “Gombe State Chieftaincy Law 2021 is either misunderstood or misappropriated. The Law, Part VI, num 20 (1) says, Upon the death, resignation, removal or deposition of an Emir or a Chief, the Governor shall approve the appointment of an Emir or a Chief on the recommendation of the Council of Traditional Kingmakers of the Emirate or Chiefdom. (2) The Governor may consult the State Council of Emirs and Chiefs on the appointment of an Emir or a Chief.”

According to the group, the law affirms the democratic principle of governance; whose main tenet is the majority rule. When through electioneering, the majority chooses a leader, the choice stands, adding that in the case of the Mai Tanglè election, Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamba, received more votes than the two other candidates combined “hence that is total victory. The voice of the people through their traditional rulers and kingmakers is loud and clear.”

It added that, throughout history, monarchy has never been the prerogative of elected officials, emphasizing that the idea that a governor of a given state can decide for a tribe who should be their leader, ignoring their traditions and customs is “laughable and were it not so absurd. Twisting the Law is an assault on the sovereignty of the Tangale people.”

While calling on the Gombe State legislators and the judiciary to uphold and interpret the written law and allow its full implementation in the current setting, the group advised the governor to, without further delay, announce Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamba whom they described as “the choice of the people” as the new Mai Tanglè as indicated in the election results.

Secretary to Gombe State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi

The group pointed out that the governor is subservient to and must follow the law urging that it would benefit his leadership to do the right thing and allow the Tangale people choose their Mai according to their tradition.

“Considering his recent keynote address at the unveiling of the Development Agenda for Gombe State (DEVAGOM 2021-2030) given on Tuesday 16th February 2021, we call on the governor to pursue the ways and means that align with his vision of peace and prosperity.

“That the other candidates, who are recognized as legitimate candidates, should do the honorable thing, and follow the traditional norms by congratulating the winner of the election.

“It would be against custom and etiquette for either of them to accept an appointment to the throne of Tangale by anyone other than the Tangale people. That would be tantamount to betrayal of confidence and respect of the people they purport to love.

“The loyalty of the people is earned through the process in play for years. Any person forced upon the Tangale people as Mai will be correctly perceived as a puppet of outsiders and will never earn the respect and loyalty of the Tangale people. It would be wise to leave a legacy of respect for your children who may well ascend the throne of Tangale in the future.

“That the people of Tangale exercise patience as we all await the announcement from the governor.”

They, however, cautioned against any behavior or actions that will be counterproductive to the cause of peace in Tangale land, advising that any protest that is violent will only hurt the Tangale people.

The group also appealed to all stakeholder including traditional rulers, the Tangale Community Development Association, local, state, and federal elected officials, and the Tangale people to support the decision of the kingmakers and recognize the new Mai Tangle as the traditional ruler.

“This is a matter of our identity, our heritage, and our memories. Future generations will read about this moment in the history of the Tangale people, make it worthwhile.

“Finally, we ask that our neighboring tribes and friends pay attention to our situation because their own sovereignty and traditions are at stake. We invite you to stand with us and speak up in support of the traditional institutions under attack.  A stitch in time saves nine.”

Meanwhile, the Gombe State Government has said that it is making far reaching consultations with relevant stakeholders on who becomes the next Mai Tangale amongst the top three contenders presented by the kingmakers.

The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, stated this while addressing journalists shortly after a stakeholders meeting held at the Deputy Governor’s office.

The SSG explained that the journey to the throne of Mai Tangle commenced when about 23 persons indicated interest for the position but through screening and some other important considerations in the selection process, the number was trimmed to 18 and eventually 3 candidates.

According to him, those three candidates secured votes from the king makers to emerge and are now equals in the eyes of the law, irrespective of the number of votes they scored.

Professor Njodi added that the names of the top 3 contestants who scored votes in the contest have since been forwarded to the state governor, explaining that “number of votes by kingmakers are not the determinants of who becomes an Emir or Chief, rather their votes only determine who makes the top 3 nominees to recommend to the Governor and nothing else.”

Said he: “You all know that the 2020 laws of Gombe State as amended gives the governor the prerogative to select one from the top 3 candidates.

“On 25th January, 2021 the Governor of Gombe State assented to the Gombe State Chieftaincy Law, 2020. The relevant provision of the Law as to the appointment of an emir or chief is that the Council of Traditional Kingmakers of an Emirate or a Chiefdom shall nominate to the governor three candidates for the vacant stool from among eligible members of the royal family. The governor after due deliberation will then choose one of the candidates for appointment as an emir or chief. Appointment of an emir or chief is therefore the prerogative of the governor.

“So the governor alongside stakeholders are still making consultations to come up with what is good for the people.”

He maintained that the seat of the Mai Tangle is such an important one that needs a careful consultation and background checks to arrive at who sits on it. He added, “Any sentiment or distrust in the process is uncalled for, because the three names submitted to the governor are bona fide sons, and all of them belong to the same lineage.”

While appealing for calm, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi said that government could only function and meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people in an atmosphere of peace.

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