Following a reported allegation by Northern Elders Forum Leader, Paul Unongo, that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, could be sponsor of Fulani attacks and recently killings in Benue State where scores of lives were lost, a supporting group of the former VP, Turaki Vanguard, has set record straight for Nigerians to know that Atiku was a advocate of politics without bitterness and a detribalized Nigerian.
It clarified the former vice president had condemned reckless killings in Benue and other places in the country and that he had continuously shared his empathy with the victims of the attacks, just as he urged government to bear the full fangs of the state to arrest ugly incidents.
The group raised concerned that instead for Unongo to join Atiku in his move aim collaborating efforts with that of the government and bring the killings to end, the leaders was busy pointing wrong accusing finger at the former vice president.
It claimed that on serial attacks against communities in Benue State, Atiku had shown more solidarity with the victims of the attacks and made severally attempts to speak with relevant authorities to do more than merely condemning the crime.
Reacting through a statement issued on Saturday by the group’s National Chairman, Fabiyi Oladimeji, it described the statement credited to Unongo accusing Atiku of sponsoring Fulani attack on Benue people, as not only unfair but also uncharitable.
It expressed that it was unfortunate that a supposed leader of the Northern Elders Forum could uttered such alleged comment against the former vice president, and that for avoidance of doubts, Atiku’s pedigree in politics presented him as an advocate of politics without bitterness and a detribalized Nigerian.
It is rather unfortunate that since the demise of a highly respected pan Nigerian, quintessential proponent and promoter of a united Nigeria, late Danmassami kano, Amb. Maitama Sule, the reputable Northern Elders forum has been enmeshed in one controversy or the other under the leadership of Unongo to the extent of creating division among the great leaders of the north.
It would have been expected that Unongo acted like a statesman in joining Atiku to find a lasting solution to the herdsmen and farmers crises but chose otherwise.
The group maintained that the forum leader was unfit for the position he currently holds since he decided to play petty blackmail with murder of innocent people from same Northern bloc he’s supposed to lead.
According to it, for Unongo elects to run a negative commentary against Atiku is a betrayal of his sense of gratitude.
“We want to make it resoundingly clear that Atiku Abubakar wholeheartedly condemns the reckless killings in Benue and other places in the country; he shares his empathy with the victims of these attacks and calls on government to bear the full fangs of the state to arrest the ugly incidents.
“One wonders why a reputable organisation like the Northern Elders forum will bestow such a position of leadership on a charlatan and a tribal jingoist like Unongo who has failed to address such a sensitive national security issues dispassionately and fairly, rather, he chose to politicise it.
“When his kinsmen attacked and massacred Nigerian soldiers sometimes in 2004 and when his kinsmen were murderous culprits against other tribes in Taraba and Nassarawa, the likes of Unongo remains mute. Probably, he was one of the sponsors now that his kinsmen are at the receiving end, he thought others are like him” .
“No blackmail will make Atiku succumb to the one million dollars loan you requested from him sometimes in 2014, which Atiku refused to oblige. Since then Unongo has become relentless in the attack of Atiku’s person and reputation, he assured.