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President Buhari mourns Paul Unongo, Second Republic minister

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday mourned the demise of Dr Paul Unongo, saying that the country lost an elder statesman.

The president made the pronouncement in a condolence message issued by his media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja.

A former Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum and former Minister of Steel Development in the Second Republic, Unongo held several political positions and was involved in Constitutional conferences.

Until his death, late Unongo was Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council.

In a tribute, Buhari acknowledged the close relationship he had with the deceased, stating that “in all the positions he held as a politician and public officer, he displayed a high level of decorum.

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“He was a colossus in public life, very articulate and witty. He served his community and the nation well.

“My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and the government and people of Benue,’’ Shehu quoted the president as saying.

Unongo, who hailed from Jato Aka in the Kwande Local Government Area of Benue, died in Jos on Tuesday at the age of 87 years.

He aspired to govern Benue in 1983, but lost to Mr Aper Aku also of blessed memory.

In 2017, Unongo succeeded late Alhaji Maitama Sule as the chairman of the Northern Elders Forum.

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