The Presidential candidate of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, former Vice President Atiku Abukakar, has greeted with alarm the reported deaths of 50 policemen in Zamfara state by bandits.
The Waziri Adamawa said he was pained that those who have dedicated their lives to securing Nigeria are being cut down in their prime.
He condoled with their families and survivors and prayed God to grant them fortitude and strength at such a trying time.
“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,” his campaign organization said in a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA.
With the massacre of policemen, Atiku Abukakar called for a state of emergency to be declared not in Borno or Zamfara, adding that the military and security services should be well funded.
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”.
“Furthermore, His Excellency Atiku Abukakar calls for a comprehensive insurance program for all officers and men of our 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,” his campaign said.
Abubakar also argued that 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.
He called for a comprehensive probe into the disbursements of the $1 billion special security budget that was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the current administration in January of 2018, because, according to him, Nigeria is not getting value for money as there has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.
Abubakar also called for a 7 day 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. No more must we continue to read of the deaths 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,” the statement read.