The chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, Chief Paul Unongo, recently accused former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of being the chief financier of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
Considering how notorious that group has become following the gruesome murders recently carried out by herdsmen in Benue state, being tagged as the chief financier of the group was not something Atiku was willing to ignore.
On Friday, his media office released a statement debunking the claim.
– Atiku is Fulani and proud of that fact. However, according to his media team, he is a “thoroughly detribalized Nigerian that would never favour one ethnic group over another.”
– Atiku touted his Tiv traditional title of Zege Mule U Tiv – “the biggest shade of the Tiv people” as well as donations he made to the Benue government during the flood disaster in the state last year as proof of his love and care for the people of Benue state.
– The statement said Atiku “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.”
– Atiku called for a thorough investigation into the Benue killings and for anyone found culpable to be made to bear the full weight of the law.
– He questioned Chief Unongo for making allegations against him, pointing out that as the Chairman, Governing Board of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Unongo may have been attacking him to get into Pres. Buhari’s good books.
“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.”