A group known as the National Democratic Forum, NDF, has warned the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, against dramatizing a story published by Wall Street Journal on the alleged secret burial of slain army officers in the North East.
It issued the warning to Atiku while insisting that the report was planted by some enemies of the country in the foreign media just to blackmail the Nigerian Army.
The group advised Atiku to “find a productive job and stop going about parading himself as Nigeria’s parallel president just like the Presidency has warned him.”
Wall Street Journal had in an article entitled, “Nigeria Buries Soldiers at Night in Secret Cemetery” alleged that the military buried soldiers in unmarked graves in the North East.
Against this backdrop, Atiku, had called for the setting up of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the claims of the secret burial of soldiers in the North East.
However, addressing newsmen, Secretary-General, Bolaji Abdulakdir, described Atiku’s comment as inciting over an unverified report.
According to Abdulakdir, “The National Democratic Front (NDF) would have ignored this irresponsible piece of reporting from the Wall Street Journal, knowing fully well that in addition to being committed to reporting to destabilize the newspaper has an existing contract that preceded the 2019 General Elections to run propaganda for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Mr. Atiku Abubakar. But the report, dubiously captioned: “Secret Military Cemetery Conceals Toll of Islamist Insurgency in Nigeria” continued the tradition of demonizing everything about Nigeria. It is therefore pertinent to react to this attack against our fatherland.
“An additional reason to question the intent of the report is the series of events that followed its release. Two of these events stood out: first is the rush with which Atiku Abubakar issued a personal statement that was almost as long as the report, the second is the coordinated promotion of the report on the social media handles of Atiku loyalists and those of social media influencers that had been on his payroll for some time now.
“The indication this mix of events gives is that the Wall Street Journal’s report was commissioned for the sole aim of being a trigger or platform on which a campaign of calumny against the Nigerian state and government. This is exactly what has happened. Atiku Abubakar and made his position known and his urchins took up the refrain, perfect proof that it was all a hatchet job.
“NDF, however, wants to strongly advise Atiku to stop chasing shadows over the purported Wall Street Journal report dramatizing the killing of Nigerian soldiers while touting a well-known military cemetery as secret graves. It is common knowledge that Atiku’s lack of patriotism and the misrule of the government he and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo ran was responsible for the emergence of Boko Haram.
“The additional years during which his party, the PDP was in charge of the country allowed the terrorists to grow stronger before the Military was empowered to confront them under President Buhari’s government. It is the height of irresponsibility for the same Atiku to now be desecrating the memory of troops that have paid the supreme price in his bid to score political points.
“The PDP candidate will do well to recall his words and actions before and during the elections. He vowed that killings will not end but increase if he loses the election and that has been the case, especially with soldiers being killed by terrorists he hired to destabilized the country. He is yet to demobilize the terrorists and foreign mercenaries he hired to cause chaos ahead of the elections, which is the cause of the unnecessarily frequent skirmishes between troops and jihadists.
“This alone makes it irresponsible for him to directly contribute to the loss of the lives of soldiers, pay a foreign newspaper to report an increased body count and allege secret graves while he rushes to condemn the government and emphasize. The feeling he expressed are several levels below shedding crocodile tears because some of the fallen heroes would have still been alive but for Atiku’s desperate inordinate ambition to return to power for the purpose of looting the treasury. He gave the contract to the terrorists that killed them in battle – the only consolation being that our gallant troops brought down 100 terrorists for every soldier that paid the supreme price.
“We see his empathy is another attempt to engineer and incite troops to be disobedient to constituted authorities. This too can be proven with Atiku’s track record in the recent past when called on the troops and officers of the Nigerian Army to disregard lawful commands by the Commander-in- Chief because carrying out those orders prevented him from rigging the elections.
“His comments, as with his other recent weighing-in on national matters, was further calculated to rubbish Nigeria’s standing in the international community. It takes a dire level of irresponsibility for someone that once aspired to lead a country to turn around to destroy the reputation of that same country. Such an individual does not deserve kind considerations from any citizen or institution in the country and we urge that he should be so treated.
“It is our sincere hope that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal concludes its work soon so that Atiku can stop exploiting his defeated candidacy as a prop for seeking relevance in a country that has roundly and resoundingly rejected him. Once the judicial challenge to the Presidential Election has been closed and disposed of, Atiku would have lost all claims to being the opposition leader, which would effectively make him liable for any incendiary comments, whether made by himself or on his behalf.
“In the interim, we advise Atiku Abubakar to find productive a job and stop going about parading himself as Nigeria’s parallel president just like the Presidency has warned him. A presidential election loser is not a designation so Atiku must know that his newfound pastime is borderline impersonation and can never be an occupation in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. To the extent that his objective of sponsoring the Wall Street Journal report has failed like the previous hatchet jobs the publication did for him, it is pertinent that he approaches them for a refund, especially now that he no longer has access to slush fund from the nation’s treasury.
“NDF shall continue to closely monitor the situation to see the extent to which Atiku complies with decorum and desist from trying to destroy the country because of his desperation. Where he continues to imperil the country through his choices and actions, we shall announce corresponding measures, particularly bearing in mind that a competent Tribunal of the country has been duly notified that he is not a Nigerian, which explains his indifference to the fate of the country.”