By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
A member of House of Representatives, Hon. Bashir Babale (Kano, APC) has said former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, who was shot dead Tuesday could only be described as a national hero when his name is cleared of corruption allegations.
The lawmaker, while responding to a motion Thursday on the need to investigate Badeh’s death, moved by Hon. Abdulrahman Shuaibu Abubakar, said considering the number of lives lost to Boko Haram insurgents across the country, Kano State inclusive, and alleged complicity of the former defence chief in the mismanagement of funds meant to purchase arms to fight terrorism, it would amount to sycophancy to eulogise him.
Babale said: “For me, I will only address Badeh as a selfless individual when his name is cleared with regards to financial misconducts during his era.”
According to him, “What happened to Alex Badeh, I am not praying for it to happen to my worst enemy, but I think it is a food for thought for anybody; anyone who finds himself in the position of authority. If you are given authority, you have to discharge it with the fear of God.
“I don’t want to be a sycophant, saying that he is a selfless man, he served his country, no! There are issues as regards to late Alex Badeh with regards to corruption, and for me, I will only address him as selfless person who stood for Nigeria, when his name is cleared with regards to high level allegations of corruption with regards to arm purchase in order to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria, because I am from Kano, I know the quantum of numbers of peoples’ lives we lost in Kano. Just in a day, we lost over 1000 lives during the Boko Haram saga in Kano and later on, we found out that some people were given authority to purchase arms; they decided to sit on the money, siphon the money and used it for their personal benefits.”
But reacting, Hon. Chika Adamu (Niger, APC), said “Whether he is corrupt or not is not the matter, how will he be killed in that manner?”
He noted that the incident happened close to the seat of power, saying the fact that he travelled without armed security guards is an indication that he was a simple man.
Also contributing to the debate, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu PDP) blamed the Nigerian security agencies for killings in Nigeria.
“The way people are being killed in this country shows that, our security outfit are not working, they are not doing what they are supposed to do. If a general can be killed like that, you can now imaging what ordinary Nigerians are going through everyday.”
Many other lawmakers who contributed to the debate, said had Badeh remained alive he would have had his day in the court.