OrderPaperToday – Former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the coming 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has berated President Muhammadu Buhari for absenting himself at the funeral of five air force officers killed in a helicopter crash during an operation against boko haram terrorists.
According to a press release he personally signed and released today, Atiku described the action of the President, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as unpatriotic.
Note that the burial of the officers held on Tuesday in Abuja and witnessed the presence of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, among other dignitaries.
While bemoaning the absence of the President, Atiku recalled that he previously had cause to advise Buhari to attend the funerals of soldiers of the 157 Task force Battalion in Metele, Borno State, who died from an attack by boko haram terrorists, but his advice was ignored “despite the fact that the President had time to host Nollywood actors and actresses the previous day.”
He said: “The most recent funeral held in Abuja, the President was in Abuja on the day of the funeral. The previous day, he had inaugurated his re-election campaign council.
“My question for Mr. President is this: is securing your second term, more important to you than securing Nigeria? Yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) refusal of the president to attend the funerals of these heroes is part of a pattern of unpatriotic behaviour demonstrated by President Buhari.”
Atiku also urged President Buhari to learn from the actions of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who on March 28, 2018, attended the funeral of a French policeman, Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame, killed by terrorists in Southern France.
He claimed that the event boosted the morale of the French security forces, because it showed a form of commitment to their well-being by the head of state.
Atiku however, commended the Nigerian military for their sacrifices to secure the country, adding that the forces can count on his full support and solidarity always.
Reporting by Owokade Oluwatomilade