Atiku made the appeal following the recent terrorist attacks that led to the death of 44 soldiers in Borno State.
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called on his supporters and well-wishers who wish to celebrate his birthday to direct their gifts for him to the widows and children of fallen military heroes.
The former vice president, who clocks 72 on November 25, also called on Nigerians to support the families left behind by military officers who died in service.
Atiku stated this in a condolence message he posted on his Twitter account (@atiku) following the recent attack that happened in Metele, Borno State, that led to loss of lives of officers of the 157 task force batalion.
He said "These deaths are very painful and the loss of even one member of our armed forces pierces my heart because these heroes did not have to die. They volunteered to do a job that keeps this nation safe.
"These men and women gave their best and we must reciprocate their sacrificial giving. Therefore, instead of celebrating my birthday this year, which is coming up in a few days, I choose to rather celebrate our fallen heroes,"he added.
He also pledged to provide financial scholarship to five children of the fallen heroes of the 157 task force battalion up to university level at the American University of Nigeria, Yola.
The 71-year-old called on the Federal Government to set up a fund for which public and cooperate bodies can make donations to support widows and children of military officers who are killed in service of the nation.