President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the violent chieftaincy tussle that rocked Billiri kingdom in Gombe State over the weekend, regretted that Nigerians had shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President called for restraint.
In the statement titled, ‘Billiri chieftaincy tussle: President Buhari condemns violence, calls for maximum restraint to avoid escalation’, Shehu quoted the President as expressing “great shock and deep concern” over the incident.
The President 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.
“The easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.
“In a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers. Muslims and Christians should 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 to destroy this positive record.”
Women in the Billiri kingdom had protested for about three days over what they described as government delay tactics in declaring the next Mai Tangale since the kingmakers completed the election involving three candidates.
Also, in reaction to the violence, Governor Inuwa Yahaya had on Saturday stated that the curfew in the troubled area would persist. He also suspended the announcement of a substantiative monarch.