- President Buhari has reacted to the violence in Gombe state arising from the Billiri chieftaincy tussle
- The crisis has allegedly led to the burning of a mosque and several other properties
- Reacting on Sunday, February 21, President Buhari appealed to the warring parties to sheathe their swords and embrace peace
The Billiri chieftaincy tussle in Gombe state has degenerated into full-blown religious violence with a mosque and several other properties reportedly burnt.
The sad development has drawn reaction from President Muhammadu Buhari who said he was shocked and deeply concerned.
The president's reaction is contained in a statement released by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday, February 21.
President Buhari said who said he was seriously disturbed by the outbreak of the violence called on the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.
The Nigerian leader noted that the easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.
President Buhari urged the Muslims and Christians in the state to avoid violence, noting that “in a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers."
He appealed to the parties involved in the crisis to embrace peace and avoid giving chance to hoodlums to destroy the relative religious harmony Gombe state has enjoyed for decades.
Reacting to the development, Senator Shehu Sani, a former lawmaker from Kaduna state, said those responsible for the violence should be brought to book.
"Those who burnt the Mosque and the properties of Muslims in Billiri,Gombe State and the Police spectators of the barbaric act should be apprehended and prosecuted.
"Religious extremism and violence should have no place in our society."
Nigerians react to Buhari's statement
Some Nigerians have reacted to the president's statement on Facebook, giving insight into what may have caused the crisis.
Ibrahim Ishaku Ture said:
"Blame the governor for trying to impose his will on Tangale people. He is an outsider even though he is the governor."
Ichie Onwa said
"A christian man was voted to be the traditional king of his empire but Gombe state governor refuse to recognize him simply because he is a Christian."
Aaron Abel Gajere said:
"The kingmaker has nominated Dr Musa Maiyamba to be the next king but the governor has interest on different person in his broadcast he said he has the right to appoint anyone to be the king, sir injustice can make the people insane."
Kabiru Ismail T said:
"I just want to advise youths that, it is not time for violence, it is time to work together to move our country forward."
Bigshow Gamaniel said:
"There's nothing like Muslims-Christians as this matter is concern. The people of Tangale (through their kingmakers) had chosen their next King (the Mai Tangle).
"The process was peaceful! Only for Mr Governor to confirm it but he's trying to impose his will on the Tangale people instead!
"The Governor should respect the will of the people of Tangale, period! This has nothing to do with religion. U too dey shock for simple matter abeg!"
In other news, President Buhari has sent condolences to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the families, friends and colleagues of the seven victims of the military plane crash which occurred near Abuja airport on Sunday, February 21.
A statement by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, indicates that President Buhari was deeply saddened by the fatal crash of the NAF's Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft.
The president said he joined the Nigerian Air Force, the military and other Nigerians in mourning the unfortunate loss of the dedicated and courageous personnel.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_