President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the assassination of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) describing the gruesome killing as “very sad and unfortunate.”
The president also directed security agencies to find his killers.
A statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, 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.
“Noting that the late Mr. Badeh, who was also a former Chief of Air Staff, attained professional fulfillment in his over three decades military career, President Buhari regrets that he fell victim to incidence of violent and fatal attacks on the nation’s highways.
“He directs security agencies to find the killers of the 15th Chief of Defence Staff and bring them to face the full force of the law, while ensuring greater security and safety for all users of the country’s roads.
“The president prays that God Almighty comforts all those who mourn Air Chief Marshal Badeh and grant his soul peaceful rest,” Mr Adesina said.
Mr Badeh who was the immediate past CDS was accused of mismanaging about N3.9 billion arms funds while in office and is currently being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed shock over the gruesome murder of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), on Tuesday, by yet to be identified gunmen, describing it as a national loss.
The party said the ambush and killing of a military officer of Alex Badeh’s status has heightened fears and apprehensions on the level of insecurity in the country, particularly, the safety of average citizens, “under the incompetent and insensitive Buhari administration.” A statement by its National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media & Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP therefore demands a wide-ranging investigation into the killing to unravel those behind the dastardly act as well as the motive behind their action.
“The party recalls the killing of former Chief of Army Administration, Major General Idris Alkali, in Plateau state as well as the horrific murder of over 100 of our gallant soldiers in Metele, Borno state, by insurgents and stated that President Buhari has failed woefully as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“PDP insists that our nation is drifting and gradually assuming the status of a failed state and urges President Buhari to spend the few months left of his administration to provide a leadership that will secure respect for our territorial integrity and the lives of our people.
“Our party notes further that the failure of President Buhari is whittling the confidence of the citizens in our nationhood.
“Air Chief Marshal Badeh was a fine and patriotic officer, who made various sacrifices towards the security, unity and stability of the nation, particularly as the Chief of Defence Staff. His killing is a monumental loss to the nation.
“The party condoles the Badeh family, the Government and people of Adamawa state and prays God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss”.
“It urged security forces to immediately swing into action and leave no stones unturned until the killers are brought to book.”
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), on its part on Wednesday condemned the killing of Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh saying the former defence chief died from gunshot injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked on Abuja-Keffi Road while returning from his farm.
NANS’ National Public Relations Officer, Bestman Okereafor, in a statement in Enugu, said, “The attention of the apex students governing body, NANS, has been drawn to the gruesome assassination of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, a retired four-star flag officer of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
“NANS, in all totality, condemns the killing and considers this as very unfortunate, disheartening and one that has no doubt once again portray our beloved country in a negative way and manner in the comity of nations.
“If a former Chief of Defence Staff can be assassinated in such a manner in a democratic rule, what then is the fate of common defenceless Nigerians?
“NANS is calling on security agents across the country to step up security measures as the Yuletide draws nearer and specifically ahead of the 2019 General Elections”.
“On this sad note, NANS is bidding the former Chief of Defence Staff farewell.
“May God grant the Badeh family, government of Adamawa and the Nigerian Air Force the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss, we pray that his gentle and rugged soul rest in peace, Amen.’’
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State in a statement signed 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.
He lauded Badeh for initiating the Optimizing Local Engineering (OLE 1 and 2) to focus on developing indigenous Unarmed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and other weapon systems that resulted in the production of the AMEBO project (aka GULMA 1 UAV), the 1st locally produced drone in Nigeria which allowed the Air Force survey and carry out attacks remotely without putting the lives of pilots at risk.
He said, “Badeh initiated and constructed the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) extension complex fitted with a befitting joint operations room, conference hall, the office spaces, Pent-house to receive guests, Armed Forces DNA Laboratory, which has allowed for easy identification of casualties of war, the Defence Space Agency, commissioning of 30 Gun Boats in the Niger Delta region amongst others.
“The killing of Alex Badeh by unknown gunmen is quite unfortunate and a terrible news just like the case of General Idris Alkali who was abducted and later killed. I appeal to security agencies to work together and unmask those involved in the heinous crime that led to the death of the retired Defence Chief.
“Our country is being bedeviled by one manner of killings and abductions or the other. We never knew that it would deteriorate to a level where a former Chief of Defence Staff would be murdered in such a gruesome manner”.
“It is my prayer and the prayers of all Deltans that the almighty God will give the family the fortitude to bear this loss”, Governor Okowa said.
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