By Hassan Zaggi
The Middle Belt Forum has warned the Gombe State government against any attempt to manipulate the selection of the new paramount ruler of the Tangale Chiefdom. It further warned that there will be unpleasant consequences if the governor of the state failed to retract his steps.
The Forum gave the warning in a statement signed by its National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, in Abuja, Thursday.
“The forum is totally opposed to any form of manipulation that would affect the peaceful coexistence in the Tangale nation.
“For the sake of peace, we call on Governor Yahaya not to temper with the popular choice of the Tangale people.
“The governor should note that should any breakdown of law and order occur in the process of manipulating the popular will of the people, he should be ready to bear the blame.
“Governor Yahaya should also know that negative actions while in office would haunt him even after he leaves the corridor of power,” the group said.
The MBF further called on the governor to retrace his steps and confirm Dr. Maiyamba as the new Mai Tangale whose choice has been endorsed by five out of the nine kingmakers.
“The attention of the leadership of the Middle Belt Forum has been drawn to the current turmoil and security apprehension over Biliri, the traditional headquarters of the Tangale Nationality, on the selection of a new Mai Tangale. From the storm of opposition that have trailed the selection of a new successor for the 14th Mai Tangale, His Royal Highness Abdu Buba Maisharu, it is clear that the people are exasperated over attempt by the Gombe State Government to foist an unpopular candidate as the new monarch.
“Before now, 9 Tangale kingmakers had selected Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba to succeed the 14th Mai Tangale.
“The newly elected monarch had polled a total of 5 votes, while the other two contestants polled two votes each.
“As the Tangale Chiefdom was awaiting formal announcement of the new monarch, reports had filtered in that the state government had concluded plans to announce an unpopular candidate as the new Mai Tangale,” the Forum explained.
The MBF expressed concern that “if the planned imposition of an unpopular choice on the Tangale people is not halted, frightening insecurity and tension may force the fragile unity of the Chiefdom to cascade down the valley of conflagration.
“The MBF would continue to fight for the rights of its members irrespective of their religious or ethnic disposition.”