By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has chided Paul Unongo for alleging that the former is the chief financier of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
A statement by the Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, Mazi Paul Ibe said that such allegation on the former vice president was not only sad but also false and erroneous.
“It is very disheartening that in this period of intense grief in Benue State, Chief Paul Unongo would choose to level these desperately sad and false allegations on the person of Atiku Abubakar whom he erroneously described as the chief financier of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
“Yes, Waziri Atiku Abubakar is a Fulani and proud to be one and has never hidden that fact. However, the Waziri is a thoroughly detribalized Nigerian that would never favour one ethnic group over another,” Abubakar stated.
He recalled that as a Tiv traditional title holder, he was at the aid of the people of Benue when last year, the people were afflicted by floods.
“Last year during the massive flood in Benue State which affected over 100,000 families, Waziri Atiku Abubakar, who holds the Tiv traditional title of Zege Mule U Tiv, donated cash to the Benue State Government for the care of the victims. This is fitting for a man whose Tiv traditional title means ‘the biggest shade of the Tiv people,” he lamented.
Abubakar wondered why Unongo would chose to link him with the Association as its financier.
“It is strange that Chief Paul Unongo chose to neglect that act of love and care from the Waziri Adamawa to the people of Benue. Not only did the Zege Mule U Tiv make a financial donation, he also called on the Federal Government to do more to assist the flood ravaged communities.
“Let it be known that though Waziri Adamawa is a Fulani, he is not a member of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria nor has he ever been a member. He has also never discussed about that group with Chief Paul Unongo,” he further stressed.
The former vice president called for a thorough investigation into the killings in Benue, adding that anyone found culpable should be made to bear the full weight of the law.
Abubakar further noted that as the Chairman of Governing Board of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Unongo should be grateful to those that appointed him to it.
“It has not escaped our notice that Chief Paul Unongo is the Chairman, Governing Board of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), a position he was appointed to in April of last year. Understandably, Chief Unongo would be very grateful to those who gave him such a position and may feel it is his duty to attack and sully those in their bad books.
“If that is the case, it would be a very sad day when a supposed elder chooses to make mileage of the sufferings of the people of Benue State who have had to endure the impunity of these killings for far too long,” he further stated.
He prayed for the souls of the departed and pledged to join hands to bring justice to those affected. “As a traditional title holder of Tiv land, Atiku assures the entire people of Benue (including the Idoma and Igede) that he would do everything in his power to bring justice, relief and compensation their way, so help him God.”