Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 polls, has demanded that the alleged secret burial of 1,000 soldiers killed by Boko Haram insurgents be probed by a judicial commission of inquiry.
The former vice president made the call in a statement released by his media office on Thursday, August 1, Daily Trust reports.
9jainsider.com gathers that Atiku asserted that the alleged cover-up of the deaths of 1,000 soldiers was a national emergency that should shock all statesmen and leaders of thoughts into action to save the country.
He expressed shock that such a thing could happen under a democratic government, insisting that Nigerians deserve to know the truth of the matter.
Atiku advised that in order to investigate and report to Nigerians the true state of the war on terror, the panel of inquiry should be made up of distinguished former military officers.
He said: “I read the report by the Wall Street Journal that over a thousand Nigerian soldiers have been secretly buried at night by the General Muhammadu Buhari led administration, in order to hide the true state of the war on terror, with a sense of heartbreak and shock.
“Heartbreak for the families and friends of those soldiers who, if the report is true, have lost their loved ones, without being allowed to bury them or even to have any sense of closure as regards their fate.
“Shock, that such a thing could happen under a democracy, such as Nigeria is supposed to be. I shudder to think that the cover-up of such an event of epic proportions can be true.
“The men and women of our Armed Forces are our first, second and last defence against our domestic and foreign enemies and should be treated with love, respect, dignity and appreciation for the invaluable service they render to Nigeria.
“I cannot fathom that in the space of a year, 1000 of these great patriots were killed and buried secretly without their families being told. I hesitate to believe that deceit on such a grand scale is even possible.
“To ensure that we get to the bottom of this matter, I urge that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by a non-partisan and reputable jurist, be inaugurated to investigate the findings of the Wall Street Journal.”
Atiku added that Nigeria must ensure prudent use of finances, so that national resources can be redistributed in such a way that ensures that the nation’s military and security forces are well armed and well remunerated.
Meanwhile, The defence headquarters earlier denied the media publication which alleged that secret burial sites where troops killed by Boko Haram are buried, silently exist in the north-east theatre.
In its statement on Thursday, the Nigeria military said the writer of the publication lacked knowledge of its valued ethos, and traditions on treatment of fallen heroes.
It said the insinuation could only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication, adding that it had become necessary to inform the public that the Armed Forces of Nigeria has a rich and solemn tradition for the interment of the fallen heroes.