The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, former Vice President Atiku Abukakar, has called for national morning over the reported death of 50 policemen killed by bandits in Zamfara State.
Atiku regretted the death of the policemen, expressing his pains that those who have dedicated their lives to securing Nigeria are being cut down in their prime. The PDP Presidential candidate sent his condolence to the families and survivors of the deceased, praying that God grants them fortitude and strength at such a trying time.
Atiku lamented: “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.”
Atiku, therefore, called for a state of emergency to be declared not in Borno or Zamfara, but in financing the military and security services. He called 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.
Atiku also demanded a comprehensive insurance program 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.
The PDP 2019 candidate also stated that going forward, the emergency should allow families of soldiers and policemen killed in service to be allowed to remain in their official quarters for as long as is reasonably possible for them to get alternative accommodation and that a special agency be set up to help them in that process.
Atiku demanded a comprehensive probe into the disbursements of the $1 billion special security budget that was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the current administration in January 2018. He remarked that the nation is not getting value for money as there has not been a commensurate improvement in the weaponry and conditions of service of our troops since that withdrawal was made.
Finally, Atiku Abubakar called for seven days period of national mourning, for flags to be flown at half-mast and for national awards to be given to these fallen heroes who should be given heroes funerals. “It is the least we can do for those who gave their lives that we might have ours,” he declared.
He cautioned: “No more must we continue to read of the death of our heroes. Serving Nigeria must be a thing of sacrifice and pride, not a suicide mission. If we must send men and women to protect us, we must protect them by giving them the very best training and weaponry money can buy.”