Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we pick up from our last press release in which we called the attention of the world to the ongoing crimes against humanity by Gov Inuwa Yahaya. Today, we draw attention to the intricate relationship between Gov Inuwa, his underlings in the Department of State Services (DSS), and his propaganda arm in Billiri. In our last release, we raised concern about the role of some prominent media outlets in propagating lies intended to mislead the public. We first want to reiterate that we appreciate and respect the free press for speaking for the voiceless. The freedom of the media is the only right extended to ordinary citizens in Nigeria today. But, unfortunately, even that freedom is being attacked by agents of Gov. Inuwa in Gombe state under the disguise of media. We make the following observations:
The case of Justice Beatrice Iliya is closely related to the issue of the Mai Tangle stool. We had said that Gov. Inuwa’s mistreatment of Justice Beatrice was an open assault on the Tangale minority people group by the Fulani conquest movement, which has vowed to suppress minority tribes in the state and central Nigeria. We now know that the DSS has invented a path to connect Justice Beatrice with the recent crisis in Billiri concocted by the governor. The letter to the Gombe State Judicial Service Commission entitled, “Concerns over the Activities of Senior Judicial Officer: Justice Beatrice Iliya (F)” is filled with blatant lies and misinformation. On account of the letter, the National Judiciary Council (NJC) removed her name from consideration for the position of Chief Justice. Yet, none of the accusations was substantiated. We call on the NJC to respect the rule of law and reach out to Justice Beatrice and give her the chance to respond to the accusations labeled against her by disgraceful DSS who had stooped so low to tarnish the image of the organization at the national level. We know that Justice Pindiga has several accusations against him, yet miraculously, he has emerged as a clean candidate along with Justice Awak. The irony of injustice in the ranks of those saddled with the task of ensuring justice is not lost to us.
The inflammatory link of Justice Beatrice to the Billiri crisis by the DSS is a shameless, criminal act unworthy of the office. There is no evidence whatsoever of Justice Beatrice relegating her esteemed position to the low standard of instigating violence. Accusing her of being a member of the Tangale Community Development Association (TCDA) is tantamount to accusing her of being a Tangale woman. The TCDA is a registered entity in Nigeria, and every prominent Tangale person is associated with it. To see the DSS accuse her of being a supporter of TCDA is a joke, as the name of the DSS secretary, “Joke,” implies. But then, they work for Gov. Inuwa; what could be worse? As well, the TCDA expects to hear the charges against it by the DSS. We now call on the Gombe Judicial Service Commission to remember the ploy against Justice Beatrice was started long before the Mai Tangle stool debacle. The DSS must defend every point in their accusatory report before the Commission. The accusation of the DSS begs the question, why would Justice Beatrice want to incite any ill will towards the state when it was supposedly considering her for the position of Chief Justice?
Moreover, her son-in-law (who is now a Commissioner in Alh. Inuwa’s government) was an aggrieved royal family member. The protest was in support of the legitimate winner of the selection process, Dr. Musa Idris Maiyamba. Her support of the protest would be counterproductive since it was not in her best interest, but worse, instigating violence would be against her character and impeccable record. Therefore, the accusation by the DSS in writing is not only a character assassination but also horrendous, and the DSS must apologize for such childish behavior on its part. The bottom line is that Gov. Inuwa has done everything possible to frustrate her career as a female Justice from Tangale.
We had noted the involvement of the Hausa program of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) in the Billiri crisis when its staff interviewed a person purported to be involved in planning the violence that took place. We have yet to see the VON publicly distance itself from the reporter. We, therefore, conclude that the VON has deemed the report to be accurate and worthy of its standards. Consequently, the VON should and will be held responsible for the contents of the purported interview with one “Ben” from Billiri.
We had mentioned above that it appears that some members of the media avail themselves as propaganda tools of Gov. Yahaya. This week, we heard a report from a Gombe media Hausa broadcast, where the reporter (Babayo Hashidu) read names of individuals being accused before the court of instigating the violence. Those who have been released were held for five months without accusation or bail. Now, more people are being accused simply because certain family members in Billiri have chosen them as the next set of victims for torture. The accused are deemed guilty before they appear in court. We applaud the reporter for relaying the information to the public; however, we also observe that he mentioned that the release of those falsely accused was done “without delay,” but that is not the case. Five months of being held unjustly does not amount to a lack of delay of justice.
Meanwhile, we continue to observe the work of the Commission of Inquiry in Gombe. We have made clear that the character and behavior of Gov. Inuwa and his attack dogs have been thuggish and brute, with complete disregard to the rule of law. His public remark in Hausa, “Tunfure kadai in muka tare” should disqualify him as a public servant. He must answer for the crime of violence he instigated in Billiri. Last week we saw an attempt to arrest a witness after his testimony before the Commission. We acknowledge the Commission for staying off the hands of over 30 members of the police and DSS who intended to arrest an innocent citizen of the Tangale nation who dared speak the truth as a witness. The harassment and intimidation have been part of the game of Gov. Inuwa and his puppet in Billiri. We plead with the Commission to stand up for what is fair and just. Their refusal to accept factual evidence from an invited witness does not comport well for their objectivity. Therefore, being aware the Commission was inaugurated by the stained hands of the governor, we keenly watch the outcome of its findings. We hope the members can stand on their integrity despite it all.
The discredited Mallam Danladi Maishanu has found himself in a conundrum just as we warned him. No genuine Tangale person acknowledges him as Mai Tangle since he is an imposter, and no one should. The man is a stranger in Billiri and has resorted to beating up people in the streets who refuse to acknowledge him. We want to make it clear to every Tangale person that if anyone is intimidated by the stooge of Inuwa Yahaya, they should record on video the incident and make it available to the community.
We encourage our kingmakers to stand by their people. They should remember that their authority and respect are derived from the people, not the state. We respect them, and we want them to keep their integrity no matter what threats they face. Mai Todi has already demonstrated what leadership looks like, and we know the others will do the same. We implore the Tangale traditional rulers and kingmakers to identify with the Tangale people in action. It does not matter how they voted; what matters is that the Tangale people have made clear their choice, and the Tangale rulers must work to see unity in the land.
The divide and conquer tactic of the current government is what has divided the tribal groups in the past. Today, we say, “Nice try.” It would not work. The tribes of Middlebelt Nigeria awaken to the treachery of the Fulani conquest pattern and will not fall for it ever again! We maintain the call to our neighboring tribal nations to see through the plans of the enemy. We know some of them in Tangale, and they will fail. The Tangale people will never surrender their identity to Inuwa Yahaya or his emissaries living among the Tangale people. In the end, justice will flow in Tangale land, and the innocent will be vindicated. Gov. Yahaya will be remembered as a brutal, divisive man who failed to disintegrate the Tangale people.
We wish our Tangale Muslim brothers and sisters and all Muslims worldwide a very happy a peaceful Sallah. For those who travel to spend the special time with families, we wish you safe travels. Happy Sallah!
Long Live Mai Tangle Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamba, Long Live Tangale Nation, Long Live Gombe State, Long Live Nigeria
Lamela Umaru Lakorok
General Secretary, TCO
Tangale Community Overseas (USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, the Czech Republic)