NEF appoints new convener as Unongo resigns over statement on herdsmen killing
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has appointed another convener, Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura , following Paul Unongo’s resignation after his controversial statement over herdsmen killings in Benue state.
Daura was the forum’s deputy convener before taking over as the convener from Unongo.
Unongo who was at the mass burial of over 70 persons killed by Fulani herdsmen, called for the arrest of those responsible for the killings of innocent persons in Logo and Goma Local government area of the state, threatening that if President Buhari further fails to protect lives and property in the state, they would raise and train an army that will defend their people.
Unongo who tendered his resignation yesterday at an emergency meeting of the forum in Abuja said: “I opted to step down because of my conviction that the time has come for the NEF to produce the type of leaders that will implement some suggestions we have made. My stepping down will also afford me the opportunity to concentrate fully on other things that will further move the country forward.”
But the forum’s spokesman , Professor Ango Abdullahi in a statement said the forum reluctantly accepted the offer of its Convener to step aside to allow the emergence of a structured leadership, which should prepare the forum to deal with many of the challenges facing the north.
Acknowledging Unongo’s resignation, Abdulahi said it is pertinent for all leaders to observe restraint and responsibility in the manner they exercise their powers to shape opinion and determine the responses of the citizens.
Meanwhile, the forum has condoled with the families and communities that have lost members and assets and enjoined security agencies to take decisive steps to restore the security of lives and property of citizens.
The statement reads: “the forum condoles with all the families and communities that have lost members and assets, and demands the federal and state authorities to take more decisive steps to restore the security of lives and property of citizens.
“The forum calls on all leaders to observe restraint and responsibility in the manner they exercise their powers to shape opinion and determine the responses of the citizens.
“We appeal to all communities to maintain vigilance over their relations with each other, and seek solutions that do not involve conflicts which in the end, leave all of us as losers.
“The forum will continue to seek all opportunities and avenues to engage leaders, governments and all stakeholders in the search for peace and security in the North and Nigeria.
“The Forum re-examined its basic philosophy and record, and has been re-assured that it represents a strategic asset for all northerners, irrespective of location, ethnicity or faith.
“It is motivated, under the circumstances, to seek to re-assure all communities that it will defend and protect the interests of all northerners and it will not succumb to blackmail and mischief that will reduce it to a platform for only one type of northerner.’’
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