THE gruesome murder of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh by gunmen on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, was a sad reminder of the perilous times we live in, here in Nigeria.
The atmosphere of insecurity, amplified by the Boko Haram insurgency, armed herdsmen attacks, the siege on Zamfara State by bandits and heightened activities of kidnappers, has been worsened by the upsurge of assassinations, particularly of serving and retired military officers.
Barely a few weeks after the Army successfully discovered the remains of its retired Chief of Administration, the retired Major General Idris Alkali, in a disused well in Lafande community, Jos Plateau State, it is now the grim burden of the Nigerian Air Force to front the efforts to unravel those behind this horrendous killing.
Pending when the law enforcement agencies, given a special presidential directive to fish out the killers, are able to come out with their findings this shooting appears to bear all the tell-tale signs of an assassination, which is defined as the targeted killing of a prominent person. That Badeh was targeted was obvious, since he (along with his driver) was killed on his way back to Abuja from his farm, and nothing appeared to have been removed from the murder scene.
A thorough investigation will establish the motive behind the act, which will also enhance a better understanding of the people behind it and why they struck. Beyond the fact that Badeh was once the highest-ranking military officer in the country, he was also standing trial on a N3.9 billion corruption and money laundering charge. Since the trial was still ongoing when he met his untimely death, a full unravelling of this killing will expose whether, as some are openly speculating, he could be a victim of efforts to conceal the truth or shield some people from facing their own portion of justice.
The murder of Badeh, a former Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet, could deal a deadly blow on certain unresolved issues, such as his possible role in the alleged diversion of $2.9 billion fund meant for the purchase of military equipment to the pockets of politicians and top military officers by former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
It is also speculated that Badeh could have harboured some useful information about those behind the Boko Haram sponsorship as well as the abductions of our schoolgirls by the terrorist outfit.
We encourage the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to make good his pledge of getting the NAF’s personnel to assist the security agencies in unmasking Badeh’s killers. If a murder of this magnitude goes unsolved, nobody will ever consider himself safe again in the country.