Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, on Monday constituted a 12-member commission to inquire into violent protests that rocked Billiri LGA of the state over the appointment of a new Mai Tangale.
Daily Trust reports that there was violent protest last February in Billiri town over the selection of new Mai Tangale and Paramount Ruler of Tangale Chiefdom.
The initial protest later turned violent and resulted in deaths and damage to property, including residential houses, business premises and mosques.
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Governor Yahaya said investigating the cause of the crisis became necessary following an attempt to give it a religious or political coloration.
He said: “On the face of it, some people may be tempted to conclude that the crisis emanated over the choice of a new Mai Tangle even though the protests erupted even before government took a decision on who to appoint. Some may be tempted to give the crisis a religious or political colouration or both.
“However, one undeniable fact is that the spread of fake news contributed immensely in the escalation of the violence. It is in light of this that the Gombe State Government strongly believes that determining the causes of the crisis is needed in order to sanction those involved and take necessary measures to prevent future occurrence.”
The commission under the chairmanship of Justice Mahmud Gurama (Rtd) was saddle with the responsibility of finding out the remote and immediate causes of the violent protests, identify person or group of persons who sponsored, procured, instigated, or encouraged the violent protests, and to recommend sanctions or remedial measures against such person or group of persons.
Governor Yahaya added that the commission should also receive and investigate complaints from victims or the families of victims and members of the public over the violent protests; to make appropriate recommendations to government on measures to prevent future occurrence and how to make perpetrators account for their acts.
The 12-member committee has Justice Mahmud Gurama (Rtd) as chairman, AIG Zubairu Muazu; Barrister, Mahmud Bappah Aliyu, Mr Sharon Faliya Cham, Reverend Bitrus Urbanus Thaba, Abdulhamid Salisu Bello, Victoria Mamuda Usman, Barrister Robert Wabida, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, Dr Ya’u Ahmed Kashere as members and Barrister Musa Saidu as secretary, while Barrister H. N. Nwoye to serve as counsel to the commission.
The commission which will be sitting at the High Court Complex was given 60 days to submit its report to the government.