Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has been caught in a lie.
The former vice president had taken to his Twitter account (@atiku) on Sunday, December 23, 2018, to claim that he spoke to the widow of Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba, who was one of the casualties of the Boko Haram attack on the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele village in Guzamala local government area of Borno State on November 18.
"This Christmas, I urge all Nigerians to spare a thought for our military on the frontlines on the war on terror. I had cause to telephone Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba’s widow this Yuletide. I am touched by her devotion & love for her husband who paid the supreme sacrifice for Nigeria," he posted.
However, the widow in question, Seun, told The Punch on Monday, December 24, that she never had any phone conversation with the politician.
"Why the lies? I have not received any call from Atiku please," she said.
In reaction to the public discovery, Atiku's media adviser, Paul Ibe, has now released a statement to say that a miscommunication was responsible for the claim.
The statement disclosed that the former vice president was unable to speak to the widow despite several efforts but was only able to speak with the fallen officer's younger sister, Maryam.
The statement read, "Over the weekend, Atiku Abubakar was availed with phone numbers of Mrs. Sakaba and Maryam, younger sister of the late soldier, in the alternative.
"On Sunday, the former Vice President tried albeit unsuccessfully to contact Mrs. Sakaba but was able to eventually speak with Maryam, younger sister of the gallant soldier during which he expressed his deepest condolences to the family. However, this communication was erroneously communicated.
"The error is regretted. Atiku Abubakar, however reaffirms his deepest condolences to the Sakaba family, which sacrifices, like those of their brave son, keeps us safe."
Even though many reports indicated that over 100 soldiers were killed in the Metele attack, with many others missing, the Army disclosed in a statement that 23 soldiers were killed with 31 others injured. 19 of them were recently buried in a military ceremony.
Security is one of the major issues heading into the 2019 presidential elections and Atiku has noted several times that incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, is incapable of securing the lives and properties of Nigerians.