By Emmanuel Aziken, Dayo Johnson, Dapo Akinrefon, Joseph Erunke, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Umar Yusuf
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has described the killing of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd), as “very sad and unfortunate.”
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on his part, blamed the rising insecurity in the country for the death of Badeh.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum and South-West Zone of PDP also condemned the killing.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, on his part, extended his condolences to the Nigeria military, the entire people of Adamawa State and the family of the former defence chief.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in his reaction to the development at the Chief of Air Staff Conference in Abuja, yesterday, vowed that the air force would leave no stone unturned until the persons behind the killing of the former Chief of Air Staff were found.
Badeh who served as Chief of Air Staff and subsequently as Chief of Defence Staff was killed by yet unknown assailants on Keffi-Abuja Road on Tuesday night.
Buhari commiserates with family
In a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari commiserated with the family of the late four-star general, his friends and professional colleagues in the military, and the people and government of Adamawa State.
President Buhari regretted that he fell victim to incidence of violent and fatal attacks on the nation’s highways.
He directed security agencies to find the killers of the former defence chief and bring them to trial even as he assured of greater security and safety for all users of the country’s roads.
Atiku laments kulling
Atiku while lamenting the killing of the former defence chief, however, said it was not an unusual development as he said it made headlines only because of who the late Badeh was.
According to him, several other Nigerians were being killed on a daily basis because of the rising insecurity in the country by what he termed the failures of the current administration, which according to him has lost the initiative to criminals.
In a statement, yesterday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, Atiku said had gunmen not waylaid the vehicle in which Alex Badeh was travelling, he would not have sustained the gun shots and the health complications that terminated his life.
Atiku described the late Badeh as a fine officer who was in regular contact with officers and men irrespective of position.
Jonathan urges security agencies to unmask killers
Former President Goodluck Jonathan on his part extended his condolences to the Nigeria military, the entire people of Adamawa State and the family of the former defence chief.
Jonathan in a statement by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, regretted the fact that Badeh. who rose to the peak of his military career before his retirement was murdered in cold blood, at a time he could still be of service to his fatherland.
He urged the security agencies to swiftly unmask those behind what he called a dastardly act.
Nigeria on the precipice—Southern, Middle Belt leaders
Meanwhile, uneasy calm and mourning enveloped Adamawa State, yesterday, as the people woke up to the sad news of the murder of Air Chief Marshal Badah, as the state governor, Muhammed Jibrilla, described his incident as shocking and unfortunate.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, on its part, in a statement expressed sadness over Badeh’s murder, saying the action showed that the country was on the precipice.
In a statement by Mr Yinka Odumakin (South West), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South East), Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), the forum said the killing had shown the degeneration of the country’s security situation.
The statement reads: “It is a sad commentary on the degeneration of security situation in Nigeria that a former Chief of Defence Staff could be killed like a fowl on the street and no word from the government in a classic replay of the failure of leadership that stalks our land presently.”
S-West PDP calls for probe
Meanwhile, the PDP in the South-West has called for a thorough investigation into the issue.
The party in a statement by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Ayo Fadaka, in Akure said: “This killing of a high profile Nigerian is absolutely uncommon and we posit that there lies more beneath the scene that must be unearthed through diligent investigation.”
We’ll find the killers — Chief of Air Staff
Meanwhile, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar, has said the service was still in shock over the issue as he vowed that every power of the air force would be deployed to fish out the culprits.
Speaking at the Fourth Quarter Chief of Air Staff Conference, yesterday, in Abuja, the air force chief said: “We are in no doubt in the state of shock of what happened yesterday when the former CDS was killed along Keffi-Abuja road.
“The entire Air Force family is shocked about the incident and we are expressing our condolence to the wife and children of Air Chief Marshal Badeh.”
He explained that the NAF was working very closely since Tuesday to find those behind the heinous crime, and said “by the special grace of God, we will get them and they will face justice.”
Okowa, Jibrilla condemn killing
Governor Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu, condemned in strongest terms the killing of the retired general who dedicated his lifetime to the service of his country.
The governor tasked security agencies in the country to rise to the occasion by unmasking the assailants and bringing them to justice.
On his part, Adamawa State governor, Jibrilla called on the security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of this evil are brought to book and quickly too.
He said: “Badeh is an illustrious son of Adamawa and his contributions to fighting insurgency and physical development will be appreciated for a long time to come.“