Saint or Villain, Alex Badeh’s Death Stands As A Stain

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Politics and PolicySecurity

Returning from his farm along Abuja Keffi road on Tuesday evening, Alex Badeh was shot and killed in his car, according to graphic images from the scene. Some media reports are referring to it as an assassination, but the circumstance of his death – whether, for example, this was by thieves or a per-meditated act – is yet to be verified.

Badeh was Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) under President Goodluck Jonathan. He was a retired air chief marshal. Below is a thread of tweets posted at 10:20pm by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramaola, the Nigeria Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information.

It did not take long after this announcement for theories to surface online on possible causes for his ‘termination’ and ‘silencing’. Some have pointed fingers to the fact he is under investigation for an allegation of fraud during the Goodluck Jonathan administration to the tune of N3.9 billion. These murmurs are coming both from critics and supporters of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

On the perception that former service chiefs should have good security protection, a gunshot killing within Abuja’s environs is rather unexpected, if disturbing. It elicits parallels to the exposure active members of the Armed Forces face in conflict zones against terrorists, a development that may or may not have been due in part to Badeh’s handling of security funds depending on what ongoing investigations reveal.

That case may never be valuable for his sake anymore. But those saddled with national security policy will do well to keep tabs both on its outcome and dig into how it was possible for one of the nation’s top-level intelligence officials of the last half-decade to drive himself to his farm but get stuck in the pool of his blood on his way back, never to wake again.

Badeh’s killing comes barely 12 hours before President Buhari is due to address a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday to present the 2019 Budget. Transfers for the National Assembly, recurrent expenditure, and capital allocations for healthcare, education and security are usually the areas of most interest to the public. The ex air marshal’s demise, coupled with other unsavory reports on the Nigerian military, will heighten interest on the latter of these focus areas.

And as Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, there will be particular attention to how much interest the president takes to getting to the root of this matter, Badeh being a fixture from the PDP years so often blasted by Buhari, the All Progressives Congress and their supporters. The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has extended his condolences to Badeh’s family.

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This Post Was Updated By 5:35pm | Feature Image: The News Guru | Follow @inquizimedia at Facebook and Twitter

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