A former Minister of Power and Steel in the Second Republic, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, has died at the age of 87.
Unongo was a flamboyant and highly fecund politician who bestrode the Benue political landscape like a colossus.
Unongo, an indigene of Jato Aka in the Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, died on Tuesday morning in Jos, Plateau State capital.
In 2017, he succeeded Maitama Sule as the chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum.
A close family source confirmed his death to reporters in Makurdi, Benue State.
“Yes Wantaregh Paul Unongo died today Tuesday but I cannot say more than that because I am not authorised to do so. But our family will issue a formal statement on the development,” the source said.
The late Unongo aspired to govern Benue State in 1983 but lost to Aper Aku of blessed memory.
Until his death, he was the chairman of the Governing Council of Nigerian Educational Research Development Council as appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Born on September 26, 1935, Unongo belonged to the Kwaghngise-Anure-Abera ancestry in Turan, Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
The elder statesman was the pioneer Secretary General of the defunct Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) and an ally of the late Nnamdi Azikiwe.