The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has berated Chief Paul Unongo over a statement credited to him against former Vice President Abubakar Atuku and President Muhammadu Buhari in some national dailies, saying it was in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the forum.
A statement signed by the forum’s deputy chairman, Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura in Kaduna, yesterday, said, “The attention of the Northern Elders Forum has been drawn to yet another report of partisan statement in Punch Newspaper of January 6, 2018 by its leader, Chief Paul Unongo against the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and another claim against President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Forum regrets to have to publicly disown yet another controversy by Unongo in this recent times”.
The forum admitted that while Chief Unongo reserved 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.
“We, therefore, advise that if Chief Unongo 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 cow ntrary to 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.
“We call on government to urgently act against such wanton lawlessness by identifying the perpetrators and dealing with them in the same way other disturbances in the Northeast and other parts of the country are being dealt with”.
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