The Northern Elders Forum has appointed Sani Daura as its interim National Chairman after its former leader, Paul Unongo, resigned, Premium Times reports.
The forum said it made the appointment after reviewing critical national developments, particularly tension around national security punctuated by killings in many communities in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna, Zamfara and other partsof the country.
Mr. Unongo stirred controversy recently when he accused former vice president Atiku Abubakar of being a patron to the rampaging Fulani herdsmen who had killed many in recent weeks. He had also reportedly threatened to raise an army to confront the armed herdsmen.Mr. Abubakar, while denying the allegations,had threatened to sue him (Unongo) for defamation.
Mr. Unongo took over the elite forum’s leadership from the late elder statesman, Maitama Sule, last year.
The forum said it reluctantly accepted the offer of its convener, Mr. Unongo, to step aside to allow the emergence of a structured leadership which would prepare the forum to deal with many of the challenges facing the North.Mr. Abdullahi said the forum took note of the sterling contributions of Mr. Unongo to the development of the forum along with itslate founder, Mr. Sule.
The forum also condoled with families and persons that were affected by the spate of attacks on communities.The forum through it’s spokesman, Ango Abdullahi, called “on all leaders to observe restraint and responsibility in the manner they exercise their powers to shape opinionand determine the responses of the citizens.”
The elders assured that they would continue to seek all opportunities and avenues to engage leaders, governments and all stakeholders in the search for peaceand security in the North and Nigeria.Mr. Abdullahi said 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.