Benue killings: Northern elders disown Unongo on Buhari, Atiku

Paul Unongo

The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has disowned what it called a “partisan statement” made by its leader, Paul Unongo against President Muhammadu Buhari and a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

Mr. Unongo had in a chat with Punch newspaper recently accused Mr. Abubakar of being the chief financier and most influential member of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, the apex body of Fulani herdsmen in the country.

Many people have been killed in Benue State, where Mr. Unongo is from, by suspected herdsmen.

The NEF leader also accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of treating the herdsmen crisis with kid gloves.

He said Mr. Buhari had refused to heed the advice of NEF on the farmers/herders clashes.

NEF in a statement on Saturday said it “regrets to have to publicly disown yet another controversy by Unongo in this recent times.”

The statement, which was signed by Mr. Unongo’s deputy, Sani Zangon-Daura, said while Mr. Unongo “reserves the right to hold and express personal views against any issue, he however does not have the right to drag the entire Forum into unnecessary controversies at will.”

NEF also advised Mr. Unongo that if has any grudges against any personality or group, he should vent them in his personal capacity and not use the platform of the forum.

“Again we are not aware that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to heed our advice on this matter as there was never any such advice contrary to Mr. Unongo’s claim in the report.

“It is on record that since inception six years ago, the Forum has never been this controversial in its approach to issues and never committed itself on anything without finding solid grounds.

“But since the transition that followed the death of its founder and pioneer leader, the Danmasanin Kano Alhaji Maitama Sule, it has unnecessarily been dragged from one controversy to another.

“The Northern Elders Forum hereby condemns in totality all forms of unnecessary attacks or reprisals carried out by any ethnic group, in whatever guise in Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Benue and Kogi states and indeed other parts of the north and the country generally,” the statement said.

The NEF also called on the government to urgently act against such lawlessness by identifying the perpetrators and dealing with them in the same way other disturbances in the North-east and other parts of the country are being dealt with.


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  • Jb

    Premium times the caption of this story is wrong. Onongo has never claimed to have been speaking on behave of the arewa group even though he is the chairman. He spoke as Onongo in which he said Atiku told him sometimes ago the he Atiku is an influential member of the the group and their sponsor. There is no where is his statement that he claimed speaking for the arewa group. Fact check, your story is wrong.

    • Mufu Ola

      Nigerian media are notorious for this type of attribution. An individual speaks &they generalise.

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  • Ishaku isaac

    Unongo’s Chairmanship of the AEF was a mistake in the first. Now Unongo knows that he was simply being used as he is not from the core north period. Shine your eyes Unongo. Shine your eyes please.

  • Bassey Frank

    All of you know what he is talking.

  • AryLoyds

    Wallahi , Poor Unongo, he has been betrayed by his Fulani slave masters.

    • Gary

      Indeed… his case is akin to the adopted orphan laying claims to the family inheritance over the biological children.
      Try as he may, he will often be reminded that he was adopted.

      Benue man posing as Hausa-Fulani blue-blood. Go home and stand with your people in the face of ethnic-cleansing of the Middle Belt.

      • AryLoyds

        He has become Judas to his people , i pity him cause he cant go home and look at his own people in the eyes anymore . He could be stoned !

    • Mufu Ola

      Lazy thinker

      • AryLoyds

        Animal think for your mother

      • Oty

        You’re morbid element

  • Dan arewa

    How can someone who cannot keep his hairs together keep his brain in place and make any meaningful statement, the NFL should now better, Unongo is a hypocrite, he is behind the killing in Yelwan Sheldam

  • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

    A rude reawakening for Wanteregh Paul Unongo, that just like you cannot be more roman than the Roman’s lol, you cannot be more fulani than the Fulani’s and this is with prejudice to his maternal lineage.

    I can therefore conclude that Unongo has made himself a right dip stick, more of what the Brits call a plonker

  • Mufu Ola

    This shows the maturity of this NEF unlike what obtains with especially my Afenifere & other Southern ethnic groups who have stereotyped & predicable approach to national issues. No Southern group had ever called its member to order whenever they issue personal views in d name of Afenifere or Ohaneze. Some characters will just issue statement & next thing u read is “Afenifere says…” “Ohaneze says”. Yet no meeting was ever held.

    • Oty

      What a drivel. Maturity you said? When have your people shown maturity in any situation apart from killing women and children and burning properties?

      • Mufu Ola

        Counter my argument, small brain thinker.Stop yelling!

  • Audu

    The truth is bitter