Atiku Expresses Shock as Bandits Kill 50 Policemen

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Atiku Abubakar

• We did not lose 50 personnel, says police spokesman

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abukakar, has expressed shock over the deaths of 50 policemen in Zamfara State at the hands of bandits.

But the police spokesman, Mr. Jimoh Moshood , a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) has clarified that the force did not lose 50 personnel in the attacks.

“That is not true; we did not lose 50 policemen. What happen is that among the 12 policemen that were injured, one died today in the hospital bringing the number of policemen who died to two.

“Remember we said during the attack, we lost one policeman while about 104 bandits were killed and over 50 of their hideouts destroyed. So, we didn’t lose 50 policemen,” he explained.

But Atiku, in a statement issued yesterday by his media office, said he was pained that those who have dedicated their lives to securing Nigeria are being cut down in their prime.

To this end, the former vice president called for a state of emergency to be declared not in Borno or Zamfara States.

He said, “Coming so soon after the heavy losses sustained by the Nigerian Army at the hands of Boko Haram in Metele, Borno State, this new casualty figure is a red flag that calls for immediate and decisive action on the part of the leadership of Nigeria.”

“As such, Atiku Abukakar calls for a state of emergency to be declared not in Borno or Zamfara States, but in financing the military and security services. He calls for an immediate allocation of at least $1 billion to go towards arming and training our military, police and other security agencies as well as providing improved service conditions for the officers and men at the frontlines of the war on terror and criminality.”

The former vice president candidate also called for a comprehensive probe into the disbursements of the $1 billion special security budget that was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the current administration in January of 2018.

He lamented that the country was not getting value for money as there has not been a commensurate improvement in the weaponry and conditions of service of the troops since that withdrawal was made.

Atiku also called for a comprehensive insurance programme for all officers and men of the military and security services such that if they are injured and killed in service, their family receives a sum equal to 10 years salary and allowances.

He was also of the view that families of soldiers and policemen killed in service to be allowed to remain in their official quarters for as long as it is reasonably possible for them to get alternative accommodation and that a special agency be set up to help them in that process.

He therefore, condoled with their families and survivors and prays that God grants them fortitude and strength at such a trying time, while also calling for a seven- day period of national mourning, and flags to be flown at half mast and for national awards to be given to these fallen heroes who should be given heroic funerals.