Paul Unongo is the leader of Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF). He is the same person that worked with Nnamdi Azikiwe in the 80s. He and Pa Zik were members of NPP. He attempted to become Governor of Benue State in 1983, but was stopped by those he courts today. It is also on record that his younger brother domiciled overseas, who flew in to lend support to his ambition, was killed by those he wines and dines with today. Today, he prides himself as leader of the same people that not only stopped him from realizing his dream but also went a step further sending his well-to-do younger to early grave. How Unongo manages to sleep at night knowing that the culprits in the killing of his brother walk as free men. He may not be able to bring them all to justice, but what makes us wince and grimace is the fact that he tends to be on the same page with those he should be wary of. Does the life of the deceased, someone that had left whatever lucrative business he was engaged in outside the shores of Nigeria to assist him, mean nothing to Unongo? What manner of elder is he who cares less for life!
Unongo, having failed to adequately mourn his brother whose demise was caused by his inordinate ambition, watched with unbelievable satisfaction as Fulani herdsmen went on rampage in the Agatu part of his state, Benue. The bloodletting herdsmen ransacked Agatu for a very long period, killing, raping, and destroying properties belonging to indigenous farmers and villages, without any intervention from the state and federal governments. One wonders why a voice like that of Unongo’s was never loud enough to be heard; why his wrists were too numb to scribble down protests; and why his body language in that regard became nonexistent.
Where was Unongo, a supposed leader, when Agatu women were ravaged mercilessly by these savages called herdsmen? Where was he when villages were violently invaded and villagers sent scampering for dear lives? Is he so impervious and withdrawn from the welfare of his siblings and community that he tends to smile when they cry; celebrate when they mourn; and rejoice when they sulk? Who made him leader? Who does Unongo lead? Benue people or the core North? Where lies his fealty? Is it the development of Benue State or that of the core North? What is Unongo’s actual primary constituency? Is it Benue State that is being pillaged or the core North? I am wont to conclude that Paul Unongo is a CONTEMPORARY SLAVE TO THE CORE NORTH. Any leader that functions as one in servility is a gloried SLAVE. Unongo has become the mouthpiece of the same core North that is responsible for the underdevelopment of Benue State.
Unongo, the gloried slave to the core North, suddenly found his lost voice when Ohaneze, under the able leadership of Prof. Nnia Nwodo, cautioned the Federal Government of Nigeria against re-arresting Nnamdi Kanu. For Nwodo’s Ohaneze, the move by the Attorney-General of Nigeria to have the Court revoke the bail granted to Nnamdi Kanu is an act in bad fate, for it shows that the like of Unongo is happy that Nigeria operates a cabal-based society, where the welfare of the common man is not important. It is apropos to find out from this devious fellow what Mazi Nnamdi Kanu crime is that warrants re-arrest. What is the justification of Unongo’s condemnation of Ohaneze’s people-oriented stance on the unlawfulness of any attempt to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu? Unongo should tell us why Ohaneze should be pleased that whilst Kanu, their son, is to be unlawfully re-arrested, the miscreants that constitute the violent group referred to as AREWA Youths and Elders operate as free men.
If he had any human sympathy in him that makes him a sentient being, how come he lost his voice when the Federal Government of Nigeria detained the object of his baseless scorn and malice unlawfully? Or is this Benue slave trying to tell us that he does not know that it is wrong for any democratic enclave, such as Nigeria, to detain an accused for ne’er two years without proper trial? We can see why this man has not bothered to dispense with the needed sympathy for the brutality meted out to his Benue people by the bloodthirsty members of Myetti Allah group called Fulani herdsmen. It is also clear why he is the today’s leader of Northern Elders, for it is an indubitable fact that the North make use of those that have been conquered. Anyone that entertains a modicum of doubt should ask the likes of Orji Uzor Kalu, Willie Obiano, and Rochas Okorocha.
In furtherance of my angst, I am bemused that this Unongo maintained, and still does, sealed lips and numb fingers when the AREWA group externalized a letter threatening to forcibly evict Igbo people from the entire North. The group, it has come to our knowledge, has the backing of northern elders, and our Unongo cannot extricate himself from complicity in this matter. Perhaps he is unhappy that the actual intention behind the QUIT NOTICE has not elicited the desired result, as Igbo people domiciled in the northern part of Nigeria have remained unperturbed. There is, therefore, no gainsaying that Paul Unongo is one of the masked fellows behind the outburst by AREWA Youths. His criminal silence via-a-vis the threat by the AREWA youths betrays his surreptitious hatred for the Igbo.
I think Benue people should begin to see this self-acclaimed leader of theirs as the enemy in the hood. Unongo, I dare say, is the enemy within; the real reason the core North treat Benue people with disdain. Of course, a man whose brother was killed because of his ambition but that does not show any sign of remorse for such loss is living at a very debased level. Unongo is a lesser human. He is one of those indigenes in our societies that are ready to trade the rights of the people for personal gains that do not have impact on the generality of the people.
I have come to understand that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has struck these sellouts so hard that they find him “distasteful”. For the like of Unongo, Kanu should be re-arrested so that he can be at peace with himself. Unlike him, however, our Ohaneze group know quite well that Kanu is not the problem but the solution and have made a U-turn. For the repentant Ohaneze, it is someone like Kanu that is needed to stem the ugly tide of continuous oppression of the peoples of the East and down South.
Thanks to Unongo for telling Ohaneze what he thinks is their supposed action, but his piece of advice is not needed. He should note that Ohaneze is an independent organization that operate outside the dictates of Northern Elders Forum. This traitor called Unongo should have known that his misadventure is ultra vires. He is in no vantage position to dish out advice to a group which operation is outside his jurisdiction. He has failed to influence the action of AREWA youths. I just wonder what makes him think he can play advisory role in the activities of Ohaneze. I think the death of his younger brother still begs for justice.
When will he align himself to the demands of his people in Benue? When will Unongo exude attributes that make him more of Benue than core North? Why has he decided to become restless over the liberating activities of the hero of our time, Nnamdi Kanu? What makes this nincompoop think that further arrest of Nnamdi Kanu will not lead to chaos unamigined? Let it be made known to whomever cares to listen that any attempt to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu will meet very stiff and violent resistance from well-meaning occupants of Nigeria’s geographical space. Need I remind this nitwit that the international community have been put on notice that whatever happens to our hero will be on their shoulders? We, the peace-loving and law abiding members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are watching with rapt attention. We have noticed how quiet Nigerian government is about the criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram, and AREWA Youths.
We are also privy to the clear case of discrimination enshrined in Buhari’s distinction between 97% and 5% without the needed condemnation by the generality of Nigerians and the National Assembly. Finally, we are not out of touch with the numerous disobedience to Court orders, including the two cases of disobedience of Court orders that freed Nnamdi Kanu from the judiciary ropes. All these atrocities and anomalies were not bad enough to give voice to Paul Unongo. Shame on him! He and Nigeria cannot re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu on the basis of frivolous and unacceptable bail conditions. Our leader, Prince Nnamdi Kanu, the Ohamadike I of Biafraland, is not a lower animal.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is too exposed to kowtow to such bail conditions. In the first place, Unongo should tell us what crime Kanu committed. Why should there be such bail conditions when it is lucid that all the serious charges leveled against him had fallen like a pack of cards when tested for judicial admissibility? Mazi Nnamdi Kanu shall continue to walk like the free man he is. He has not committed any crime. Those that rape, destroy villages, and kill unarmed villages and farmers have not been prosecuted. Yes, those that shot at unarmed peaceful Biafra protesters still walk as free men. We all know that those that killed Shia sect in the name of empowering Sunni to Islamize Nigeria have not been prosecuted.
Finally, who does not know that those that brutally exterminated a man and woman in the North for no other reason other than that they worshiped God as Christians still walk free? Now, if these criminals are treated as princes and princesses just because they come from the North, someone should tell me why Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the peacemaker and superman of our time, should not be treated as thin god? This hare-brained Unongo should tell us why his hatred for the progressive Igbo nation has not brought salvation to his Benue people. It is OK to be a fool, but it is abominable to be an aged fool. Paul Unongo is an aged fool!
Russell Idatoru Bluejack is a thinker, revolutionary writer, university tutor, and socio-economic and political analyst that writes from Port Harcourt.