By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Following last week’s massacre of over 100 soldiers in Melete, Borno State by the Boko Haram insurgents, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has berated the All Progressives Congress (APC) for not paying tribute to the gallant men who gave their lives in order to secure the lives of others.
The APC, had in a statement, accused the former vice-president of ‘selfishness’ and ‘mercantilism’ for not commiserating with the military over the loss of the soldiers.
But Atiku in a statement by his campaign organisation Monday said that he asked anyone who wished to give him birthday gifts to instead endow such on the families of the slain heroes.
He said: “Ironically, the APC 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 however commended the service chiefs for beating a hasty retreat from the event as soon as they discovered that President Muhammadu Buhari was trying to hoodwink them.
The former vice-president said while it took him a few hours to respond to the incident and express support, it took Buhari a whole week to express “shock”.
Atiku noted that 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.
He added: “Seeing as the APC spent N100 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 N100 million to promote fraud, they should be able to spare at least N10 million to promote patriotism.”