Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday berated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government, accusing them of failing Nigerian soldiers who are fighting the Boko Haram terrorists in North-East, Nigeria.
Atiku’s statement came following a statement issued by the ruling APC condemning his recent turbaning as the Waziri Adamawa on Sunday.
The APC in the statement issued by its deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, condemned Atiku for accepting the traditional title barely a week after many Nigerian soldiers were killed in Borno State.
The APC further alleged that Atiku’s action only shows that the former vice president has no leadership credentials.
Consequently, Atiku in his reply noted that the insult from the ruling party were actually because he (Atiku) “dedicated his birthday, not to himself, but to celebrating the 100 or so heroes of the 157 Task Force Battalion of the Nigerian Army who lost their lives to Boko Haram in Borno State on November 18.”
Adding that Atiku asked “anyone who wished to give him birthday gifts to instead endow such on the families of the slain heroes is the opposite of selfishness.”
The PDP presidential candidate further reminded Nigerians of how service chiefs were invited to the launching of President Buhari’s reelection campaign held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the same day Boko Haram insurgents raided the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele, killing over 100 soldiers including the unit commander, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba.
“Ironically, the All Progressives Congress that is now accusing Atiku Abubakar, has not seen fit to pay tribute to these gallant men who gave their lives in order to secure the lives of others. As a party, they have not issued even one statement condoling with the slain or their families, neither have they offered any tangible support to the families of these fallen heroes. Yet, they are accusing the Waziri, who has shown commitment to honouring these heroes, of selfishness,” Atiku continued.
“As a matter of fact, we now know through Premium Times report, that these real Nigerian heroes were killed on November 18, 2018 which was the exact time that the candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, invited the service chiefs to attend the launch of the plagiarised #NextLevel launch at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.
“The nation can only wonder if the Metele massacre could have been avoided if the APC and President Buhari had allowed the service chiefs to focus on their core duties, rather than on his ill fated re-election campaign.
“We at the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation commend the service chiefs for beating a hasty retreat from the event as soon as they discovered that President Buhari was trying to hoodwink them.
“It took Waziri Atiku Abubakar only a few hours to respond to the incident and express support, while it took the APC’s President Buhari a whole week to express “shock”. We therefore wonder who is truly ‘selfish’.
“It is left to Nigerians to compare and contrast who is a leader and who is a follower based on the conduct of these two parties.
“In any case, we would like to inform the APC of Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s call for financial support from well meaning individuals and Institutions for the survivors of the Metele massacre, and indeed for all who paid the supreme sacrifice in the frontlines for us to be safe. Seeing as the APC spent ₦100 million to buy front page advertorials in all the papers on that fateful day of November 18, 2018, we appeal to them to consider donating even 10% of that amount to the endowment for the families of our heroes as proposed by Atiku Abubakar.
“If they can spend ₦100 million to promote fraud, they should be able to spare at least ₦10 million to promote patriotism,” the statement issued by his media office read.