By Sylvanus Tyoakaa, Abuja
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawal have mourn the death, Paul Unongo, a former minister of Iron and Steel in the second republic.
Unongo,a former Convener of the NEF, died on Tuesday in Jos, Plateau state following a protracted illness.
The NEF,in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, by its Convener, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, said Unongo served Nigeria in many capacities with great devotion.
The forum expressed its condolences to his family, Governor Samuel Ortom, the Tor Tiv, people of Benue state, the entire Northern community and the Nigerian state.
According to the forum, Unongo’s life was a study in patriotism and activism.
“He was a vanguard of the Zikist Movement and rose through the political ladders of pre independence and post-independence challenges and opportunities with distinction, shaped by a searing intelligence and a character that was rare.
“He served Nigeria in many capacities with great devotion, and was Minister of Iron and Steel and Chairman of NPP in the Second Republic.
“He was a founding member of the Northern Elders Forum whose loyalty and commitment to his and other northern communities has remained a reference point.
“He was the natural successor to the late Danmasanin Kano and remained an active member of the forum until his death.
“The forum conveys its condolences to his family, the Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, the Tor Tiv, people of Benue State, the entire Northern community and the Nigerian state.
May God reward him for his services to Nigerians and humanity,” the statement said.
On his part, Lawan, said Unongo was a committed nationalist both in words and in deed.
He expressed condolences to the family and the government and people of Benue state the death of the illustrious political leader.
“He was a principled and irrepressible politician, who had clear positions on national issues and was outspoken on what he believed in through his political life.
“The former minister of Steel Development will be remembered for his contributions to good governance and political development of Nigeria,” Lawan said.