President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja ordered security agencies to fish out the killers of Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh (rtd), the 15th Chief of Defence Staff, and bring them to justice.
The president who tasked the security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators face the full force of the law, also challenged them to ensure greater security and safety of all users of the country’s roads.
Buhari, according to his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, described the killing of Badeh as “very sad and unfortunate.”
According to him, the president 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.
Adesina said the president noted that the late Badeh, who was also a Chief of Air Staff, attained professional fulfillment in his over three decades of military career.
He also said the president regretted that Badeh fell victim of 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,” the statement added.
DHQ to Probe Killing
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force Wednesday denied that security details attached to Badeh were withdrawn two weeks before the incident.
This is coming as an eyewitness account said Badeh’s assailants were men in uniform and the Defence Headquarters said it would investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.
A military source told THISDAY yesterday that the security details attached to the former CDS were withdrawn prompting him to write to protest the withdrawal.
He said, “His details were withdrawn and he protested about it. For a four-star general and a former Chief of Defence Staff to be killed so cheaply is not obtainable anywhere.
“Under normal circumstances, everybody will have to go down, both the assassins and the details if it is going to be that bad, because he goes on retirement with full complement of his security details.
“Even a two-star general usually has reasonable number of details. It only shows the deterioration in many areas in the system.”
The Defence Headquarters said investigation into his death would be carried out shortly.
It said in a statement by its spokesman, Brigadier-General John Agim, “We will investigate his death and find out what happened. We will look at the situation and review it. He went to his farm when this happened but you know that he must not need full complement of security to go to his farm.
“We are going to conduct an investigation into what happened.”
But the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the killing of the former Defence Chief was unacceptable.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Air Staff Conference in Abuja, Abubakar said, “We are no doubt in a state of shock at 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 Alex Badeh.
“We are very appreciative of the sentiments expressed by Nigerians after the incident. It shows they love and support the service.
“For this kind of thing to happen, it is something that is totally unacceptable.”
He added, “By the special grace of God, we will get them and they will face justice.
“Though we are working hard, we should redouble our efforts; we need to work round the clock, we need to put in more effort.
“We need to collaborate more closely to ensure that these criminals are not allowed to endanger the lives of our people.
“It is not entirely a military affair; those guys that shot Badeh came from an environment; so, we all have to put hands together to make sure that our national security is not undermined by individuals,” he maintained.
In his reaction on the alleged withdrawal of Badeh’s security details, Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, dismissed the allegation.
“This is not true. As a four-star general he has full complement of security details. To add to it, the Defence Headquarters, where he was CDS, provides details for him, so it cannot be true,” he said.
A competent security source who spoke to THISDAY said eyewitness account around the Abuja-Keffi community noticed a strange road block manned by some men in uniform.
“They told us that the road block was mounted by some men in uniform. But around evening they heard some gunshots after which the road block disappeared,” the source said.