THE former Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Alex Badeh, will be remembered for a number of things – top of which must be that he could not defend his hometown from being captured by Boko Haram.
Badeh was murdered on Tuesday night by unknown gunmen along the Abuja-Keffi expressway as he returning from his farm, according to a statement by the Nigeria Air Force.
Born on January 10, 1957, and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defense Academy’s 21 Regular Course, Badeh was commissioned as a pilot officer on July 3, 1979.
Badeh’s military career was largely successful as he became the third Nigerian to rise to the rank of Air Chief Marshal and became the Chief of Air Staff in 2012 and CDS in 2014.
But many Nigerians will remember Badeh, perhaps, for his inability to do the job given to him by ensuring that the country was safe.
Badeh could not protect his own hometown, Vintim, in Mubi North Local Government of Adamawa, from the rampaging Boko Haram terrorists between October and early December of 2014. The insurgents took over the town and destroyed Badeh’s house.
Later in 2017, while speaking at a public gathering, Badeh would tell the audience that even after the army recaptured Mubi from Boko Haram, he still could not visit his hometown because “everything I had has been destroyed”.
As events unfolded after the 2015 general election, it turned out that Badeh had overseen a regime of gross corruption while at the helm of affairs at the Nigeria Air Force.
While the corruption case against Badeh is still open at the Federal High Court, Abuja, testimonies by witnesses so far suggest Badeh had lots of questions to answer.
For instance, Salisu Abdullahi, a retired Air Commodore and former Director of Finance of the Nigeria Air Force, told the court that Badeh once instructed him to buy houses for two of his sons in an upscale area of Abuja.
“When Kam (Badeh’s second son) saw the house, he didn’t like it. When my chief (Badeh) saw it, he said we should look for another one,” Abdullahi narrated. They later bought another house at the sum of N330 million, he said.
The house for Badeh’s first son, Alex Badeh Jnr, was allegedly purchased at N260 million, renovated with N60 million, and furnished with N90 million, making it a total of N410 million.
Those were just some of the property belonging to Badeh which EFCC confiscated. One of such property is a N1.1 billion mansion in the Maitama area of Abuja which was later converted by the FG as an office for the Theophilus Danjuma-led Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative.
So much for a man who was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan “because he was prudent in the management of resources allocated to the NAF”.
Tributes pour in
Prominent and ordinary Nigerians have expressed their condolences to the Badeh’s family.
Senate President Bukola Saraki described Badeh’s death as “great loss”, while Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said his death was “both saddening and alarming” and called on the appropriate authorities to ensure “that those responsible are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice”.