Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday said that he called the wife of late Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba, the commander of the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, Borno State, who died few weeks ago with his soldiers following an attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
In what appears to be Atiku’s Christmas message, he said; “This Christmas I urge all Nigerians to spare a thought for our military on the frontlines of the war on terror.
“I had cause to telephone Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba’s widow this Yuletide. I am touched by her devotion and love for her husband who paid the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria,” he added.
The wife of the slain hero however vehemently denied receiving any call from the former Vice President.
According to Punch, Lt. Col. Sakaba’s widow, Seun, told the newspaper that she never received any call from Atiku.
“Why the lies? I have not received any call from Atiku please,” she said (as seen on Punch).
Mr. Atiku however in his response to the denial of Mrs. Sakaba admitted that he did not actually speak to her, but to late Lt. Col. Sakaba’s sister.
He further apologized, stating that the earlier statement was an erroneous communication. According to Atiku, all efforts to get Mrs. Sakaba were unsuccessful, but he actually did spoke with the late hero’s younger sister, Maryam, and expressed his condolence.
“Following the death of Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba during the Boko Haram insurgents’ attack on 157 Taskforce Battalion in Metele, Abubakar’s staff has made efforts to get the contact of his widow to enable the former vice president express his condolences over the loss of the fallen hero.
“Over the weekend, Atiku Abubakar was availed with phone numbers of Mrs Sakaba and Maryam, younger sister of the late soldier, in the alternative.
“On Sunday, the former Vice President tried albeit unsuccessfully to contact Mrs Sakaba but was able to eventually speak with Maryam, younger sister of the gallant soldier during which he expressed his deepest condolences to the family.
“However, this communication was erroneously communicated. The error is regretted.
“Atiku Abubakar however reaffirms his deepest condolences to the Sakaba family, which sacrifices, like those of their brave son, keeps us safe,” the former VP said through his aide, Paul Ibe.