The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, on Thursday announced the appointment of Sani Zangon Daura as new convener for the forum shortly after its former Convener, Paul Unongo, resigned.
The appointment of Daura came in the wake of the resignation by Mr Unongo following his controversial statement over herdsmen killings in Benue state.
Before his appointment, Mr Daura was the forum’s deputy convener.
The former convener, Mr Unongo, had lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent killings by Fulani herdsmen at Benue state.
The former Arewa leader threatened to raise his own army for self defense if the president fails to protect lives and property of people in the state.
He however called for the arrest of those responsible for the killings of innocent persons in Logo and Goma Local government areas of the state
But the forum’s spokesman, professor Ango Abdullahi in a statement said the Forum reluctantly accepted the offer of its Convener to step aside to allow the emergence of a structured leadership which should prepare the Forum to deal with many of the challenges facing the North.
Acknowledging Unongo’s resignation, Abdulahi said it is pertinent for all leaders to observe restraint and responsibility in the manner they exercise their powers to shape opinion and determine the responses of the citizens.
The statement reads, “the Forum condoles all the families and communities that have lost members and assets, and demands the federal and state authorities to take more decisive steps to restore the security of lives and property of citizens.
“The Forum calls on all leaders to observe restraint and responsibility in the manner they exercise their powers to shape opinion and determine the responses of the citizens.
Mr. Abdullahi said the forum took note of the sterling contributions of Mr. Unongo to the development of the forum along with its late founder, Mr. Sule.
“We appeal to all communities to maintain vigilance over their relations with each other, and seek solutions that do not involve conflicts which in the end, leave all of us as losers,” it said.
The elders assured that they would continue to seek all opportunities and avenues to engage leaders, governments and all stakeholders in the search for peace and security in the North and Nigeria.
Mr. Abdullahi said the forum re-examined its basic philosophy and record, and has been re-assured that it represents a strategic asset for all northerners, irrespective of location, ethnicity or faith.
“It is motivated, under the circumstances, to seek to re-assure all communities that it will defend and protect the interests of all northerners and it will not succumb to blackmail and mischief that will reduce it to a platform for only one type of northerner.”