Distraction of Service Chiefs Led to Killing of Soldiers in Melete, PDP Alleges

Kola Ologbondiyan

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the active involvement of the Service Chiefs in the re-election campaign activities of President Muhammadu Buhari, instead of concentrating on their statutory duties, led to the killing of over 70 soldiers in Melete, Borno state earlier in the week.

The main opposition party said it still had implicit faith in the Nigerian military, but warned Buhari to desist from acts that compromise the safety of the service men and women who are daily risking their lives in defence of the nation.

The PDP in a statement Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, lamented that the incessant but avoidable killing of the soldiers by insurgents in the northeast demands explanations from the president.

He stated, “After a thorough review of the killings, especially that of over 70 soldiers of the 157 Task Force Battalion in Melete, Borno State, by invading insurgents, who reportedly sent a threat letter last Friday, to take over military locations in the area, the PDP insists on clarifications from the Buhari Presidency.”

“This is in addition to apprehensions by Nigerians that the Buhari Presidency has been distracting our military by dragging our Service Chiefs to participate in his re-election campaign activities, instead of concentrating on their statutory duties.”

“The PDP however notes that it still has implicit faith in the Nigerian military and urged the Buhari Presidency to desist from acts that tend to whittle the proficiency and compromise the safety of our men and women who are daily risking their lives in defence of our nation.”

“This is particularly against the backdrop of earlier claims by the Federal Government that insurgents operating in the northeast have been defeated.”

The party said it was worried by reports of alleged compromises, neglect and inattention to military formations in the northeast leading to the vulnerability of the soldiers.

The opposition party urged Buhari to be alive to his responsibility as the Commander-in-Chief by immediately ensuring greater professionalism and welfare of our officers and men.

The party also called on Nigerians not to despair in the face of this ugly development but continue to join forces with our security agencies in the effort to cleanse the land of bandits, insurgents and marauders.