Paul Unong

Paul lyorpiiu Unong; born on September 26, 1937 in Unongo is a Nigerian Benue State politician. The social democrat, Paul lyorpiiu Unongo is a former minister of Steel Development and later Minister of Mines and Power in the Nigerian Second Republic.

Unongo first contested for the Benue State governorship in 1983 on the platform of the defunct Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP, led by the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria. He lost and was subsequently appointed as a federal minister in the government formed by grand coalition government of the NPP and the National Party of Nigeria, NPN that won the presidential election in 1979.

With the dawn of the Third Republic in 1999. Unongo became an opposition to the ruling People’s Democratic Party. PDP in Benue State, on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP in 2003. He once again presented himself for the Benue State governorship. He was part of the coalition against the re-election of the incumbent- governor: George Akume. Unongo again lost, provoking his supporters who believed there has been foul play to a riot in Kwande Local Government where the opposition had its base. Unongo sought redress at the election tribunal sitting in Makurdi but lost in his plead both at the tribunal and the Court of Appel. His decision to concede victory to his opponent afterwards, without political gain attracted commendation.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer