There are indications that crisis may suddenly occur in Billiri local government area of Gombe state, following the governor’s refusal to announce the kingmakers’ decision on who becomes the new Mai (king) of Tangale kingdom.
Following the passing of the immediate past Emir of Tangale Kingdom in January 2021, the kingmakers met to elect the next Mai Tangle, as the traditional ruler is called.
Muhammad Yahaya, the governor of the state, sent a committee to oversee the election. The members of the committee included the deputy governor, the commissioner of police, the director of DSS in the state and the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy titles.
At the election, the nine kingmakers screened by the state government voted in favour of Musa Maiyamba, a graduate of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Five of the kingmakers, representing 56 percent of the kingmakers voted for Maiyamba, while Ahmed Magaji and Danladi Maiyamba got two votes each, sharing the other 44 percent of the votes equally.
The results were communicated to the governor, with expectations that he would announce the winner as the new Mai Tangle.
Following the governor’s refusal to announce the new emir of the Tangale kingdom, the people took to the streets to air their views on the delay.
“Give us our choice,” “only Dr. Musa,” the people chanted as they blocked major roads in the local government area.
Okada riders and local vigilantes also joined the protests, calling on the government to respect the will of the people.
Lamela Lakorok, general secretary of the Tangale Community Overseas, argued that according to Gombe state chieftaincy law, the governor is expected to announce the new emir based on the decision of the kingmakers.
“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,” Lakorok said.
The community also called on Gombe state legislators and the judiciary to uphold and interpret the written law and allow its full implementation in the current setting.
Ibrahim Njodi, the secretary to the state government, announced the state’s decision to impose a curfew in Billiri, following the protest.