By Onyiorah Paschal Chiduluemije
The recently reported murder of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (retired), on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, just a day after the celebrated 76th birthday show of President Muhammadu Buhari, can hardly fall short of being directly ascribed to the door step or the inability of President Buhari- led government to provide adequate security to lives and property in the country, a basic function of any government that worth it salt. Thus, it follows that for anyone to essentially posit, allude or squarely point an accusing finger to the government of the day as the prime suspect in this gruesome murder of Air Marshal Alex Badel is not and of course will not amount to an exaggeration of fact. Of course, needless to add that, it is in an apparent allusion to this deep-seated suspicion of the government’s “hand” in this crime that, as obviously reported in the Guardian Newspaper of Thursday, December 20, 2018, the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum did note that “the Primary responsibility of every responsible government is to secure life and property and when failure attracts mute indifference on the part of the government , killers are encouraged to continue their acts as the fear of consequences has been removed”
Until his sudden and cruel murder, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, former Chief of Defence Staff, was reportedly facing corruption charges bordering on the alleged diversion of billions of naira earmarked for the purchase of military equipment for use in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists. While obviously it is not the intention here to hold brief for Late Alex Badeh as to whether he was actually a treasury looter or not, the truth of the matter is that the government of the day can hardly be exonerated from being either directly or indirectly responsible for his demise.
Aside from the fact of the failure of the government to have been unable to provide relatively sufficient security to ward off the unavoidable murder of this high profile military Chief, there appears to exist these fundamental and mind-boggling questions concerning the fate of the military guards or security personnel who, as a matter of right or arising from privilege, were meant to be providing “cover” or protection to the deceased, at least on account of the latter’s status as a retired Air Marshal and/or erstwhile Chief of Defence Staff who obviously had risked his life in that capacity taking hard decisions geared towards decimating the Boko Haram insurgents. Therefore, it follows as one is inclined to ask, where were the military guards who were supposed to be providing protection to Air Marshal Alex Badel on account of his position as a retired top military brass? Or, were these guards not assigned to him in the very first place upon his retirement? Or, were they rather withdrawn by Buhari-led governments? And if the answer is in the affirmative, then what were the reasons for such rash decision? And if the answer is in the negative, then where were these guards at the time of the killing of their boss? Or, supposing these guards were withdrawn on account of Badeh’s corruption trial under EFCC’s watch, could the government have taken such irrational decision with dire consequences?
Indeed, these and more are very serious questions of abiding interest which the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is duty-bound to provide their answers sooner than later regarding the brutal murder of Air Marshal Alex Badeh, both in the interest of justice and, more importantly, for the sake of self- exoneration. And until this is transparently done, not a handful of Nigerians will continue to entertain deep concern and the notion of possible foul play on the part of the State in respect of the murder of Air Marshal Alex Badeh.
Onyiorah, an Abuja based Journalist, writes from Nsukka, Enugu state