By KINGSLEY OMONOBI-ABUJA
The Defence headquarters yesterday debunked online media publications that the family of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was evacuated by Airforce helicopter from his home town near Mubi.
A statement from Defence Headquaters website reads, “Contrary to a misinformation that has gone viral on cyberspace, Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh never sent any helicopter to his home town in Adamawa State to evacuate members of his family hours before the fall of the town to Boko Haram terrorists.
“In that vein, mass media practitioners have been urged to desist from lifting unsubstantiated items from social media and bloggers who often do not know the difference between beer parlour gossip and news.
The statement referred to one such reckless publication as asserting Badeh sent a military helicopter to evacuate members of his family just a few hours before the fall of his home town to Boko Haram terrorists.
Titled “No Helicopter Evacuated the CDS Family Members”, it said “The attention of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been drawn to an article with the caption, “The Helicopters that evacuated CDS Badeh’s family from Mubi: A lesson for All Nigerians” written by a certain Elvis Iyorngurum and posted in an on-line news outlet, NewsRescue.com on the 6th of November, 2014.
“The said article which contained strings of deliberate falsehood and spurious allegations claimed that few hours before the attack on Mubi by the terrorists, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal AS Badeh flew in helicopters and evacuated his family from the town and abandoned everyone else to their fate.
“While the DHQ remains at a loss as to the motive for these unconscionable fabrications, it is pertinent to quickly repudiate the false claim and to state clearly that at no time did the CDS send any helicopter to evacuate any of his family members before, during or after the attack on his home town.
“Contrary to the claims by the author, the helicopter that flew to Mubi was on an operational mission to reinforce the ground troops in preparation of efforts to repel the attack. The helicopter did not convey any civilian or relation of the CDS as disdainfully insinuated in the article.
“Considering the fact that the falsehood packaged against Air Chief Marshal Badeh by Elvis has not only been mischievously and widely circulated, it has been further made viral on the social media, it can no longer be dismissed as one of those careless efforts in the campaign to tarnish the name and integrity of this senior officer and the Armed Forces who are doing their best to address the security situation in the country.
“The damage done by the fabrications contained in that article has not only personal, but national security implications.
“Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh as the Chief of Defence Staff has uppermost in his heart, the interest of the entire citizens of Nigeria, whom he swore to protect. Insinuating that the CDS is self-centred and insensitive to the plight of his people is wicked and damaging indeed.
“The DHQ wishes to reassure Nigerians that as a patriot and one on whose shoulders the leadership of Nigerian Armed Forces rests, he has honestly reaffirmed severally that he considers every Nigerian and every part of Nigeria as deserving of equal protection especially at this challenging times.
“Just like any other Nigerian, the CDS is pained at the mindless carnage and bloody violence perpetrated against innocent Nigerians by the terrorist group. Contrary to the falsehood bandied around by a number of professional critics and detractors, the CDS believes that every town or village under attack deserves protection whether it is his home town or not.
“This false story on Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh is one of the many fabrications being circulated as information or articles by individuals who have remained desperate in the efforts to dampen the spirit and morale of military personnel in particular and Nigerians in general as we strive to stop the activities of terrorists on rampage against our people.
“ It is therefore necessary to appeal to the populace of concerned citizens to join hands with the security forces in this effort by refraining from the series of distractive criticisms and comments.
“The mass media is again requested to beware of lifting stories on the military from online media that has become the main channel of disseminating falsehood on happenings in the system.”