The National Democratic Front (NDF) has asked Atiku Abubakar not to make a show of the Wall Street Journal report, alleging that thousands of soldiers were killed and buried secretly.
The publication had said over 1000 soldiers killed in the fight against insurgency were secretly buried, an allegation the military authorities denied.
Atiku challenged the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a panel of inquiry and unravel the truth behind the report.
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 Abubakar (@atiku) August 1, 2019
However, Bolaji Abdulkadir, secretary-general of NDF, told reporters that Atiku was trying to incite the public through the report.
"The National Democratic Front (NDF) would have ignored this piece from the Wall Street Journal but it continued the tradition of demonising everything about Nigeria. It is therefore pertinent to react to this attack against our fatherland," he said.
"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 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.
"NDF, however, wants to strongly advise Atiku to stop chasing shadows over the Wall Street Journal report dramatizing the killing of Nigerian soldiers while touting a well-known military cemetery as secret graves.
"The PDP candidate will do well to recall his words and actions before and during the elections. We see his empathy is another attempt to engineer and incite troops to be disobedient to constituted authorities."