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Atiku dares Buhari over ‘secret burial’ of 1,000 soldiers by Boko Haram, ISWAP

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the secret burial of 1,000 Nigerian soldiers killed by Boko Haram and ISWAP.

A statement he signed on Thursday said the Wall Street Journal report on the matter was sad and that the attempt to hide the actual state of the war on terrorism was heartbreaking and shocking.

He said: “Heartbreak for the families and friends of those soldiers who, if the report is accurate, have lost their loved ones, without being allowed to bury them or even have a sense of closure as to their destiny.

“Shock, that such a thing could happen under a democracy, as Nigeria is supposed to be. I shudder to think that the concealment of such an event of epic proportions may be right.

“The men and women of our armed forces are our first, second and last defense against our national and foreign enemies and must be treated with love, respect, dignity and appreciation for the invaluable service they provide to Nigeria.

“I cannot understand that in the space of one year, 1000 of these great patriots were killed and buried in secret without being said to their families. I hesitate to believe that large-scale deception is even possible.

“To ensure that we get to the bottom of this matter, I urge the opening of a Judicial Investigation Commission headed by a non-partisan and reputable jurist, to investigate the findings of the Wall Street Journal.

“While this is happening, I also strongly urge the establishment of an investigation panel composed of distinguished former military officers to investigate and inform Nigerians about the actual state of the war on terrorism and what must be done to ensure that Nigeria ends quickly. The insurgency in progress.

“Nigeria must ensure the prudent use of finances so that we can redistribute national resources in such a way as to ensure that our military and security forces are well armed and well paid.

“Even the death of a soldier affects me. But the supposed cover-up of the end of a thousand soldiers is a national emergency that should shock all statesmen and idea leaders to save Nigeria. “