President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to warring factions in Biliri local government of Gombe State to sheathe their swords.
The conflict began Thursday over alleged imposition of a Muslim of minority extraction in Tangale, a predominantly Christian community, in the council.
The minority candidate who reportedly has no link to the Tangale throne was speculated as the choice of the Gombe State Government not minding that the unpopular candidate scored less than 22 votes while his rival and son of the demised monarch, Idris Maiyemba polled 55 votes.
The development elicited protests here and there in the area with the state government imposing curfews.
In a Sunday statement by Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman said his principal, Muhammadu Buhari, was greatly shocked to learn of the escalating situation while expressing concerns.
The presidency statement is reproduced below:
BILLIRI CHIEFTAINCY TUSSLE: PRESIDENT BUHARI CONDEMNS VIOLENCE, CALLS FOR MAXIMUM RESTRAINT TO AVOID ESCALATION
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed “great shock and deep concern” over the eruption of violence in Gombe State arising from the Billiri chieftaincy tussle.
Reacting to the development on Sunday, President Buhari said: “I’m seriously disturbed by the outbreak of violence in Gombe State and call on the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.”
According to the President, “the easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.”
He noted that “in a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers,” advising Muslims and Christians to “avoid the temptation of resorting to violence in order to express their grievances.”
“Nigerians have shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved. I appeal to the two parties to sheathe their swords for the sake of peaceful coexistence. Gombe has enjoyed relative religious harmony for decades and you shouldn’t allow hoodlums destroy this positive record,” President Buhari appealed to the feuding parties.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 21, 2021