The presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, lamented that while soldiers were being killed by Boko Haram terrorists, the nation’s service chiefs were attending the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election campaign.

In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja by the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Atiku said it was possible that the killing could have been avoided if the service chiefs had been allowed to concentrate on their jobs.

“As a matter of fact, we now know through Premium Times report, that these real Nigerian heroes were killed on November 18, 2018 which was the exact time that the candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, invited the service chiefs to attend the launch of the plagiarised #NextLevel launch at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.

“The nation can only wonder if the Metele massacre could have been avoided if the APC and President Buhari had allowed the service chiefs to focus on their core duties, rather than on his ill fated re-election campaign,” the statement read in part.

The organisation said it took  Atiku only a few hours to respond to the incident and express support, while it took the APC’s President Buhari a whole week to express “shock”. 

It also said Atiku had asked his friends and associates to present the gifts they would have given him on his birthday to the families of the slain soldiers.

“In any case, we would like to inform the APC of Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s call for financial support from well meaning individuals and Institutions for the survivors of the Metele massacre, and indeed for all who paid the supreme sacrifice in the frontlines for us to be safe. Seeing as the APC spent ₦100 million to buy front page advertorials in all the papers on that fateful day of November 18, 2018, we appeal to them to consider donating even 10% of that amount to the endowment for the families of our heroes as proposed by Atiku Abubakar.

“If they can spend ₦100 million to promote fraud, they should be able to spare at least ₦10 million to promote patriotism,” the statement added.