ATIKU VERSUS BUHARI
The PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has attacked the incumbent president Mohammadu Buhari. Alhaji Atiku on Saturday, criticised president Buhari for not attending the burial of soldiers killed by Boko Haram. The slain soldiers were buried on Friday in Maiduguri. However, the Presidency reminded Alhaji Atiku that Buhari had done better than him by visiting the soldiers after the attack. Presidency told Atiku that he did not visit soldiers killed in Zaki Biam when he was vice president in 2001.
ATIKU ADVISED BUHARI
In a statement, Atiku advised Buhari to emulate French President Emmanuel Macron, on how to bury heroic soldiers. The former VP lamented that neither Buhari nor Vice President Osinbajo attended the funeral of the military men. The soldiers were killed in Metele during the terror attack. He stated that the federal government did not send high-powered delegates to the burial.
This is the the direct speech of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. “This is sad and totally unacceptable. This is beyond politics. This touches our shared humanity. What would it cost the President to take a day and fulfil his role as head of state? Most importantly, he should have attended the funeral of such men of honour and valour. I urge President Muhammadu Buhari to learn from French President Emmanuel Macron. President Macron on March 28, 2018, took a whole day off to attend the funeral of Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, who was killed by a terrorist after a March 24, 2018 terror attack on the South of France”.
“It will be recalled that Time Magazinereported that that singular act by Macron boosted the morale of French security forces more than any other action in France’s war on terror. Nigeria lost the opportunity to do the same thing to our military and security forces.”
ATIKU’S POSITION AND PRESIDENCY REPLY
Atiku see it as worrisome that Buhari took time out of his busy schedule to host Nollywood stars at the Presidential Villa. Moreover, he could not attend the funeral. Nevertheless, the Presidency recalled that the President condoled with the government and people of Borno State.
Besides, the president also visited wounded soldiers, who were recuperating in the hospital after the Metele tragedy. The Presidency noted that by visiting Borno State and the wounded soldiers, Buhari had demonstrated enough leadership. Stating that it was a clear case of sensitive and responsible leadership.
PRESIDENCY REPLY ATIKU
In its reaction, the presidency stated on Saturday, “The loss of the gallant soldiers, as President Buhari has said, is a national loss, on account of which he went to Maiduguri where he condoled with the government and people of Borno State, addressed the troops at Maimalari Barracks as well as visited the convalescing gallant soldiers.
Most importantly, it stated, “On the other hand, however, when a similar number of troops (19 soldiers) were abducted and killed in October 2001, neither he (Atiku Abubakar) nor his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, paid any tributes, not to talk of visiting the grieving family members of the martyred soldiers. Instead, they sent additional troops, who rounded up the people of the town and authorised an indiscriminate shooting as reprisals.”
The Presidency further quoted a British Broadcasting Corporation report on the incident as stating, “In four ethnic-Tiv villages in Benue, soldiers rounded up and killed over 200 unarmed civilians. Zaki Biam, a town of about 20,000 people, was completely destroyed.”