Spread the love

Bayo Onanuga takes deep dig into Buhari over treatment of fallen soldiers

A presidential spokesperson said Wednesday that President Bola Tinubu will attend the national burial for the Nigerian military officers and soldiers killed on 14 March by armed persons in Okuama Community in Delta State.

Bayo Onanuga, Mr Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Strategic Communication, did not, however, limit his post on X to announcing the president’s intention, he also took a dig at Mr Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, for not attending the funerals of soldiers slain on duty.

“It is the first time in the last ten years that a Nigerian President will attend such a solemn event, in honour of our men of gallantry and valour,” Mr Onanuga wrote.

Two other burials in 2018 and 2021 were not graced by the incumbent president, Mr Onanuga wrote.

Mr Buhari was the Nigerian president between 2015 and 2023.

In November 2018, Boko Haram terrorists killed several Nigerian soldiers in different attacks on the Nigerian Army 157 Task Force Battalion in Borno state. Then the former chief of army staff Ibrahim Attahiru, a lieutenant general, and 10 other officers were also killed in an ill-fated military plane crash. Former President Buhari did not attend the burials on both occasions.

ALSO READ:  DSS Arrests Bello Bodejo, Miyetti Allah President For Setting Up Vigilante Group

Mr Onanuga added in his post, “We told you then that President Tinubu cares. He is demonstrating it yet again.”

The post has since stirred controversy on X (formerly Twitter) with many Nigerians criticising Mr Onanuga for playing politics and having zero respect for the families of the slain soldiers.

“It’s disgraceful to exploit the deaths and funerals of military personnel for petty political attacks against other parties,” an X user Ben Samuel said in reply to Mr Onanuga’s tweet.

“Why not simply state that the president is attending the final farewell of the fallen heroes and end with a period,” he said.

Another user, Lannister Aspiration, said: “The last paragraph was not entirely necessary. It is acceptable for the president to express sympathy for the fallen soldiers, but attempting to politicise every action of the President, including attending a burial site of the fallen soldiers, is not in line with Bola Tinubu’s style.”

ALSO READ:  Afenifere’s Spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, Is Dead.

“Everything you said after the first full stop, is not necessary at all, are we celebrating the president’s presence at a funeral venue now, whether the President attend is not what is needed, talks should be about arresting the assailants and how living military officers won’t face the same issue,” said Wilex Williams, another user.

After the public outrage, Mr Onanuga edited the first version of the tweet, removing the section where he referred to the incidents in 2018 and 2021.

“It is confirmed that President Bola Tinubu will be attending the national burial for the Nigerian military officers and soldiers killed on 14 March by some gunmen in Okuama Community in Delta State. It is the first time in the last ten years that a Nigerian President will attend such a solemn event, in honour of our men of gallantry and valor. We told you then that @officialABAT cares. He is demonstrating it yet again,” the new version of the post reads.

ALSO READ:  Champions League: Man City thrash Real Madrid 4-0, qualify for final

Mr Onanuga has been a close ally of Mr Tinubu for decades and was a spokesperson for the president during his campaign. Mr Tinubu appointed him as his adviser on Information and Strategy last October.

Mr Onanuga’s slight dig at ex-President Buhari appears to reflect the relationship between the former president’s core supporters and those of the incumbent. The supporters have sometimes publicly criticised each other’s principal on social media despite belonging to the same party.

Although both men are members of the ruling party, APC, Messrs Buhari and Tinubu have had a topsy-turvy relationship amidst suspicions that Mr Buhari tried to stop Mr Tinubu from succeeding him.

Although Mr Tinubu has reversed some of Mr Buhari’s policies and accused some top officials of the Buhari administration of corruption, he has repeatedly praised Mr Buhari and refused to publicly criticise him since Mr Tinubu assumed office as president.