Starrys Obazei/November 30, 2022.
Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the pan-Northern socio-political organization, is mourning the death of a former Minister of Power and Steel in the Second Republic, Dr. Paul Unongo, who died at age 87 on Tuesday.
Unongo, who hailed from Jato Aka in the Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, was also a Deputy Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum.
According to the ACF, the passing on of the elder statesman is not only a big loss to the family but to the entire people of Benue, the North, and indeed the country.
This was contained in a statement by the ACF’s Secretary General, Malam Murtala Aliyu, released to newsmen in Kaduna on Wednesday.
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The umbrella body of the North described the late Unongo as “a patriotic Nigerian… a person who dedicated his entire life to (the) service (of) his people and humanity”
The statement partly read: “The Arewa Consultative Forum wishes to commiserate the demise of its member and the deputy chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, Elder Statesman Wantaregh Paul Unongo OFR, with the family, the entire people of Benue State, the North and the country at large.
“Born on September 26, 1935, Chief Unongo died at the age of 87, on Tuesday, 29th November 2022.
“Paul Iyorpuu Unongo belonged to the Kwaghngise-Anure-Abeancestry, in Turan, Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
“With an interesting and fulfilling journey in life, he began a banking career with Barclays Bank, in 1958. The late Naylor, Wantaregh Paul Unongo rose to the rank of an Acting subaccountant, usually reserved only for Whites, in 1959.
“He attended the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology Zaria, now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from 1959 to 1961, for a pre-degree program in pre-Medicine, Zoology, Physics, and Chemistry. He was an assistant to an expatriate, a Chief Social Welfare Officer of Northern Nigeria, Douglas Green.
“The late Wantaregh got admission to the University of Calgary in Canada, to study Experimental Psychology for two years, before being transferred to the University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada, where he completed both B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology, and a specialty in Human Experimental Psychopathology.”
It added: “He was, subsequently, offered six years scholarship by the North Regional Government, to study at the University of London, leading to a Ph.D. in Psychology at that UK University.
“He was an author in his academic field.
“Chief Unongo was honored by General Olusegun Obasanjo with the National Award of the Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR.