Imperatives Of Allowing The Democratic Will Of The People Prevail: Brouhaha Over New Mai Tanglè Election

The Oasis Reporters

February 20, 2021

Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe State Governor-Elect.
The late Mai Tanglè, Dr. Dr Abdu Buba Maisharu II

A new crisis may begin to brew in Nigeria’s north east state of Gombe. The reason is that the minority tribe of Tangale in Gombe South principally peopled by Christians have chosen to elect a new monarch for their tribe.

Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamma…popular choice of the kingmakers.

The former monarch, the Mai,  Dr Abdu Buba Maisharu II, died on Sunday 9th January, 2021 at the age of 72

It is reported that out of 9 votes cast by the kingmakers, one Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamba scored 5, while the other candidates shared the 4 remaining votes making Dr. Mai Yamba, a notable physician in the area, the outright winner.

But wherever politics is mentioned in northern Nigeria, unless an admixture of confusion and artificially created crisis is added to the mix, they are never happy. Nothing is ever straightforward out there, in a region with a plethora of bandits, islamist insurgents and kidnappers.

It is understood that the election of the new Mai Tanglè, a medical doctor may not be sitting well with the political establishment that is usually Muslim and that they may well prefer an Emir (Muslim ruler) for a largely Christian population.

The former Mai Tanglè who died not too long ago was said to have been the chairman of Northern Christian Chiefs, a position that political leaders in the north that harbour islamists militias either as Boko Haram insurgents or Fulani herdsmen militia, hate. The leaders have scant regard for plurality.

Tangale is generally seen as the capital region or city for all Gombe South minority ethnic tribes, reason the entire zone largely voted for the APC led government of Alhaji
Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya due to perceived injustices and impositions of unpopular candidates to represent the people by the then PDP government.

Read on:


Members of the press, Tangale Traditional Council, and the people of Nigeria, it is with sadness of heart that we speak about the aftermath of the recent election of the new Mai Tanglè.

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. This is a cause for concern for the Tangale people.

Therefore, we the people of Tangale Community Overseas wish to make the following observations regarding the situation:

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

Secondly, throughout history, monarchy has never been the prerogative of elected officials. 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 were it not so absurd. Twisting the Law is an assault on the sovereignty of the Tangale people.

Therefore, we call on the Gombe state legislators and the judiciary to uphold and interpret the written law and allow its full implementation in the current setting.

That the Governor of Gombe state, his excellency, Alh Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya immediately announce the choice of the people, Dr. Musa Idris Mai Yamba as the new Mai Tanglè as indicated in the election returns.

The Governor is subservient to and must follow the law. It would benefit his leadership to do the right thing and allow the Tangale people to 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.

We do not encourage any behavior or actions that will be counterproductive to the cause of peace in Tangale land. Any protest that is violent will only hurt the Tangale people.

However, we also appeal to our traditional rulers, the Tangale Community Development Association, local, state, and federal elected officials, and the Tangale people to stand behind the decision of the kingmakers and recognize the new Mai Tangle as our 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.”

Thank you very much. Read on behalf of the Tangale Community Overseas.

Signed: Lamela Umaru Lakorok
General Secretary,
Tangale Community Overseas.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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