By Eric Elezuo
The death by assassination last Tuesday of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshall Alex Badeh, took the generality of the public by surprise. In fact, not a few has recovered from the shock the announcement came with.
Badeh was brutally murdered on the Abuja-Keffi Road while returning from his farm, according to reports. His driver was also shot, but is lucky to be alive and recuperating in an Airforce hospital.
The death of the Airforce chief though has been randomly criticised continues to generate reactions from every corner of the Nigerian discourse and raised questions on who is actually bent on extinguishing ex-military chiefs, and why do they find them very vulnerable to access, considering that Badeh is the third within a space of one year among top officers that has been killed.
However, the Airforce maintained that the slain ex-military chief was provided security detail befitting his status.
“…Air Chief Marshal Badeh has always been provided with the full complement of personal staff and security personal commensurate with his status as a former Chief of the Air Staff, CDS and a 4-star general in the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” the Airforce said.
Earlier, in his Apapa home, a Rear Admiral, Daniel Ikoli, was murdered with yet a trace to his murderers developed. In the same vein, Brigadier General Alkali, who retired only recently was murdered in Jos and his body taken away. It was later found after months of intensive search in a well.
The three men have been said to be involved in matters concerning arm sales to Boko Haram before they met their brual death. The allegation is yet to be substantiated, and it is a matter for the Federal Government to prove itself and expose the perpetrators as well as punish them accordingly. This is especially as many fingers are pointing towards the direction of the government. The government just have shame the accusers by doing a thorough job at fishing out the offenders and releasing the reasons behind the offences.
While the army put in everything to discover the copse of General Alkali, it is yet to be known the people behind the heinous crime, or the reason behind the crime, and will soon become a thing of the past just as the case of Daniel Ikoli is first getting a permanent place under the carpet. One would have thought that with the zeal the military employed in discovering the hidden corpse, the perpetrators would have been brought to book by now. But that is not the case.
Badeh’s killing is one too many, and has followed the same pattern. The Federal Government should do everything possible to unveil those behind the crimes and the reasons behind the crimes. Anything less will continue to pitch the government against the people and continue to erode its credibility, which has fast suffered a decline.
The government must understand that the people no longer feel safe, and if for any reason, the murderers of Badeh are not discovered and exposed, the people will retain their fingers where it is presently pointed at, and that will not go down well with governance. We can’t just run a country where high profile murders and murderers run amock, hitting the top echelon of the military at will, and leaving the regular citizens ‘pissing in their pants’ for fear.