by Achadu Gabrial, Kaduna
…Calls for cancellation of planned coronation of Mai Shanu as “Mai Tangale.”
Tangale people in Tangale area of Gombe State, northwestern part of Nigeria, have decried oppression, suppression and injustice under the administration of the state governor, Inuwa Yahaya.
They made the assertion in an elaborate statement issued and signed by General Secretary Tangale Community Overseas, Mr. Lamela Umaru Lakorok.
According to the statement made available our correspondent, the overseas is raising its voice, repeatedly, as they put it:
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, we raise our voice again as those speaking for the voiceless, repressed, and oppressed people of the Tangale nation regarding the ongoing injustice and cruel acts of Governor Inuwa Yahaya and the resultant mayhem and disarray in our land by the hand of his puppet, Mallam Danladi Maishanu.
“We speak because the wickedness of those, who suppress the truth, must be exposed so that the hand of justice catches up with them in good time. Make no mistake about it; we are a religious people, and all religions practiced in Nigeria recognize the sovereign power of God to intervene on behalf of the oppressed masses,” it stated.
Tangale Community Overseas gave the rundown of the atrocities committed by the hands of Governor Inuwa in Tangaleland against their people, alleging that, “The wicked plans of Governor Inuwa on Tangaleland started with the suspicious demise of the son and then the Mai Tangale within two months of each other without an autopsy from a medical examiner in Gombe.
“Within one month of the tragic loss, we received word that Governor Inuwa would honour the choice of the Tangale people about who would replace the Mai Tangale.
“The fact that the governor has a say in who becomes the traditional ruler of a people is problematic since this is not a government position in any way. Be that as it may, the Gombe State Legislature had drafted a Chieftaincy Law in which provisions were made for the governor’s role in creating a new chiefdom or emirate and choosing its leader.
“While this political maneuver is dubious, it does allow for chiefdoms and emirates that pre-existed the creation of Nigeria to maintain and practice their customs in the selection of their rulers, as recently seen in the selection of the Emir of Funakanye in Gombe State,” it stated.
The community also accused Gombe Governor of bribing Tangale kingmakers to gain support for his favoured candidate.
“Nevertheless, Governor Inuwa invested taxpayer money to bribe the Tangale kingmakers to vote for his candidate whom he brought from Gombe, who had never lived in Tangaleland but has a claim to the throne as someone bearing the Tangale royal blood.
“Since the election process is democratic, the kingmakers selected Dr Musa Idris Maiyamba with five votes, and the other two candidates had two votes each. Upon hearing the news of the selection, the Tangale people celebrated and looked forward to the announcement of the new Mai Tangle, but were disappointed to learn that the governor was not happy with the result and would prefer to announce his candidate of choice.
“Why the hell does the governor care or has a say in who the Tangale people choose as their traditional ruler?
“The clarion call of all well-meaning people was for justice to prevail and for the Tangale people to be allowed to live in peace. Why did Gov. Inuwa announce a candidate with two votes over the one with five votes? Is he responsible for the Tangale chieftaincy?
“So, here we are today, after the wanton loss of lives and destruction of property in Billiri, the governor sits on his “throne” and “plays the fiddle, while Rome burns.” All these happened in the aftermath of the injustice meted on Justice Beatrice Iliya, of Tangale descent, who was in the position to become the Chief Justice of the state.
“Not only did the delirious governor deny her the chance, but he also had his emissaries tarnish her image in the nation. When his own Commissioner of Works warned him of the ill-advised decision on the Mai Tangale stool, he fired the only SAN in the state, Mela Nunghe, because he is a Tangale person.
“Consequently, the Tangale nation, being aware of the vile plans of Gov. Inuwa, has spoken clearly, that Mallam Danladi Mai Shanu is not welcome on the Mai Tangle throne. The proverbial horse at the water is applicable here.
“Gov. Inuwa is a parochial man and cannot force the Tangale people to accept his stooge on the throne of Mai Tangle. Mallam Mai Shanu can display himself as ‘Mai Tangle’ and disregard the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but he can never be the Mai Tangle.
“We have said so in so many ways. No Tangale person will ever accept the injustice being planted on our soil. Therefore, we reject Mai Shanu and his minions, who are seeking political favours from Gov. Inuwa. We call on the Tangale Community Development Association (TCDA) to sue or report to the Federal Government, the counterfeit group parading itself as the TCDA. The TCDA is a Federally-registered entity, and there is only one.
“The plan to coronate Mallam Danladi Mai Shanu is a direct affront to the rule of law. We know that Gov. Inuwa has revealed his true colours. Still, we call on the judiciary in Gombe to honour the rule of law and show some semblance of integrity and hold Mallam Mai Shanu in contempt for disregarding the law. He should not be parading himself as the Mai Tangle since his imposition is being challenged in the court of law.
“Does justice have no voice in Gombe state? Why the rush to coronate a person when his legitimacy is being challenged in the courts? We know that people like Justice Pindiga have played political games with the rule of law, from the case of Justice Beatrice to the intimidation of our community leaders like Barr. Maigari, but we sure hope that some judges in Gombe will stand out and refuse to bow to Gov. Inuwa to bend justice.
“We all know that we will each give an account of our lives before God on the Day of Judgment. May there be a few more judges and justices in his footprints.
“A call to all Tangale people: Remember that the case of the Mai Tangle stool is in court. We cannot let injustice rule in Tangaleland. If we give in to the threats of our enemies on this matter, then we will also surrender all truth to lie and falsehood.
“Gov. Inuwa has tried to label this matter as a ‘religious’ issue, but we all know it is a divisive strategy. Our current kingmakers are of different religions. The previous Mai Tangles were from different religions, and the other candidate in the recent election was of the same religion as Mallam Mai Shanu. The Tangale people consider religion as a matter of the heart. No one is forced to observe one religion over another. The mere fact that Gov. Inuwa brought religion into the discussion reveals his malicious intent against our people.
“We know that Mallam Mai Shanu has chosen to identify himself with the Fulani emirate, both by marriage and loyalty. Therefore, we view his desire to identify with the emirate system as a sign of conquest of the Tangale nation by the Sokoto Caliphate.
“We prefer to keep our relationship with any emirate or chiefdom as an independent, unconquered nation with our values, traditions, and customs. We will not cede our identity to any people. While we respect the Sokoto Caliphate and the Sultan of Sokoto, we do not consider ourselves the subjects of the Emirate system.
“Our previous rulers have practiced Islam, and we have members of the royal family who are Muslims, but we are not subjects of the Caliphate. We do not surrender our sovereignty to anyone. We believe that Mallam Mai Shanu is an agent of outside powers, and he means no good for our people. No one imposes himself on a people against their will. The only reason he could do this is because of the powers of the state behind him.
“We call on the world to act against the injustices inflicted against our people, who are still in jail in Gombe without any charges. Where are the Human Rights organizations? The United Nations recognizes the rights of the Indigenous Nationalities within Nigeria, and the Tangale nation is one of those.
“We identify ourselves with the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) and the Middle-Belt Forum and Movement for freedom from the oppression of the Northern oligarchs like Gov. Inuwa.
“We speak against injustice in our land. The ilks of Babaji Babadidi are betrayers of Tangale, and their God is their stomach. Anyone involved in the plans to coronate Mallam Mai Shanu is abusing the will of the Tangale people. The people elect our political representatives, and they answer to the electorate.
“Although, we do not expect them to bow to the governor’s will, we do make clear that they will not be involved in the coronation plans until the court case is over. Our kingmakers should not betray the trust of their people and ascend to the coronation of the stooge.
“The matter is in the courts. When the case is over, we look forward to actively participating in the coronation process when justice prevails. We encourage our people to remain patient and peaceful through the arduous process. Justice shall reign like a river in Tangaleland.”