Gombe Governor Inuwa Yahaya in a group photograph with Tangale stakeholders after a peace meeting with them in Billiri Wednesday evening.
By Akanji Alowolodu, Gombe
As the process of peace and reconciliation is intensified in Billiri LGA to facilitate the announcement of a new Mai Tangale, leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Area has pleaded for forgiveness from their Muslim brothers over the destruction of their properties and places of worship.
Billiri CAN LGA Chairman, Rev John Joseph leading the Christian community also sought the forgiveness of the State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, for the sorrow and despair brought to Tangale land as a result of the violent protest said they are sorry over the carnage that affected many Muslims in Billiri.
The CAN Chairman was speaking when the State Governor held a stakeholders meeting with the Tangale people in Billiri town as part of the Governor’s peace building process after last weekend’s mayhem over non announcement of a new Mai Tangle, the paramount ruler of the area, after the traditional king makers concluded their election process.
Because of the tensed atmosphere and the curfew that was placed in the Local Government Area, the CAN Chairman sought the permission of the Governor and security heads to allow him lead other Christian clergy to go round all affected areas to seek their forgiveness over what he said was not a planned attack on the Muslims.
He said the delegation would particularly visit the Chief Imam of Billiri, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi to condole, sympathize as well as seek the forgiveness of their Muslim brothers.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Local Government, Honourable Margaret Bitrus who broke in tears during her emotional speech, said the people of Billiri are now regretting their action which has brought untold hardship to the people.
She said the mayhem wouldn’t have happened if the people had remained patient and waited for the Governor’s proclamation of a new Mai.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya who described the crises as uncalled for, said the people of Tangale had allowed the devil to infiltrate and divide them along religious lines even when the Mai stool has no religious consideration.
He said, the crises that had happened, had broken the long peaceful coexistence that had existed within the Tangale nation for years immemorial despite their religious differences.
He stated however that as the Governor and Chief security officer in the State who had swore to defend all people in the State, he still stands on that vow and would do anything humanly possible to help the Tangale people mend their fences.
He commended the religious leaders for coming together after realising that the attacks were not for the progress of the people and the land and that it is only in a peaceful atmosphere that any meaningful development can take place.
The meeting which also had in attendance the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) zone 3, Ene Okon as well as other security chiefs in the State was also used by the Governor to announce a relaxation of curfew from 24 hours to eight hours.
The people will now have freedom of movement from 6am to 2pm as from tomorrow Thursday 25th February, 2021.