…Calls State of emergency in security funding, 7 days national mourning
Following last week reported deaths of 50 policemen in Zamfara State, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called on the Federal Government to give account of how it disbursed the $1 billion special security budget allocated to eqiup the Nigerian military.
He demanded a comprehensive probe into the disbursements of the $1 billion special security budget that was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account by the Buhari administration in January.
Concerned that the fund might have not been judiciously utilised, Atiku said “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”.
The former Vice President who greeted with alarm the reported deaths of 50 policemen in the hands of bandits 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 Nigerian 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.
“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”, he said.
In a statement by Paul Ibe, his media adviser, Atiku submitted that killing of 50 police men at once is a red flag that calls for immediate and decisive action on the part of the leadership of Nigeria.
Furthermore, he advocated a comprehensive insurance program for all officers and men of the nation’s security services “such that if they are injured and killed in service, their family receives a sum equal to 10 years salary and allowances”.
Going further, Atiku Abubakar also posited that families of soldiers and policemen killed in service 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.
The Waziri Adamawa regretted these deaths, saying “it is pained that those who have dedicated their lives to securing Nigeria are being cut down in their prime”
Finally, Atiku called for 7 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 added.
The brutal killings of the policemen is coming so soon after the heavy losses sustained by the Nigerian Army at the hands of Boko Haram in Metele, Borno State.