On Tuesday, 18 December 2018, Alex Sabundu Badeh, a four star flag officer of the Nigerian Air Force who served as the 18th Chief of Air Staff and the 15th Chief of Defence Staff of the armed forces of Nigeria was shot dead by yet-to-be-identified gunmen, at Tudu-Uku, along Abuja-Keffi road, while returning to Abuja from a routine visit to his farm.
On September 3, 2018, Major General Idris Alkali (Rtd), who is the immediate past Chief of Administration (Nigerian Army) was ambushed, murdered and his corpse confiscated by irate youths around Jos – Dura, a community in Du district of Jos South local government. He was travelling to Bauchi from Abuja, en-route Jos, Plateau State. His mutilated and decomposing body was later found in a disused well on October 31, 2018, but not before a massive manhunt initiated by the Nigerian Army led operatives to a shallow grave, from where his remains had been exhumed by the perpetrators of this heinous and dastardly crime, after his car was found in an abandoned mine that was being utilized as a wet cemetery for automobiles of slaughtered victims.
On December 12, 2015, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai was accosted by members of the Shia religious sect along Kaduna-Zaria expressway. His being in full military regalia did not deter them; they barricaded the road, chanted “war” songs and bluntly denied him right of passage. Who knows what fate would have befallen him if not for the timely, active, armed response by his security details.
The above chronicle of events is by no means exhaustive; it neither includes the names of over 3,500 people who have either been killed or displaced as a result of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East of Nigeria, nor does it include over 1,500 people who have been killed or sacked as whole communities as a result of the perennial clashes between farmers and armed bandits who masquerade as cattle herdsmen.
We, the National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity are profoundly apprehensive about this widespread state of insecurity because everywhere you turn, East, West, North or South; it appears that Federal government has completely lost capacity to secure the lives and property of Nigerians.
It is our considered view that if national security assets like Alex Badeh, a four star flag officer and Air Chief Marshall of the Nigerian Air force, and Major General, Idris Alkali who are both less than one year into their retirement and should statutorily enjoy the highest levels of security and protection can be murdered in cold blood, on open roads, then, where lies the hope for the common masses, whose life and death are by default unheralded.
If the freedom and movement of the serving Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai can be impeded by members of a religious sect, what institution, then, can protect the common masses? This near total breakdown of law and order is an ominous sign for national pace and stability, especially, given the imminent 2019 general elections.
To arrest this downward slide to national perdition, it is pertinent to commence addressing the plethora of socioeconomic problems that fuel insecurity; poverty, injustice, ethnicity and illiteracy being topmost on the list. In addition, government needs to wake up to the realism that the security situation has degenerated to a point where it is spiralling out of control and must expediently articulate a wholesome and strategic action plan to tackle this hydra headed monster. The overarching strategy must include a process that mops up and controls the current proliferation of small arms within the country, there is also need to enhance and sustain aerial surveillance and land patrol around borders and notorious blind spots on highways. Essential technology infrastructure should be installed to enhance intelligence gathering and tracking of the armed bandits who perpetrate wanton killings, kidnap for ransom and murder on our highways.
For completeness, law enforcement must play a very strategic and critical role in rebuilding trust and confidence of the citizenry in government’s capacity to provide security. A situation where the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are never apprehended and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, then are severely punished, if found culpable ends up providing incentive for reprisals and emboldens criminal elements and miscreants to be contemptuous of the law and disregard for the sanctity of life.
A resolute and well-resourced investigation must be expeditiously launched to identify, prosecute and punish the killers of Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh. Other murders, high or low must be vigorously investigated, and their perpetrators brought to book. By failing, the Federal Government will be inadvertently degrading its capacity to secure and protect the lives and property of its citizens.
Guaranteeing security should be made a priority of governance.
The time to begin is now.
Kwaghbunde GbahaboNAS CapoonNational Association of Seadogs, Pyrates ConfraternityDecember 2018