Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Prominent Nigerians and military service chiefs, including the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan Ali (rtd); Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Abayomi Olonishakin, yesterday paid tribute to the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, as his remains were buried at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.
Speaking at the burial ceremony attended by Dan Ali and Mustapha, among others, Olonishakin said the late CDS was an astute professional.
“Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh was an astute professional in his chosen career as a military pilot
“He was a compassionate leader, mentor and fine military officer; he retired from the service in 2015, even in retirement, the ACM was full of energy and obviously had a lot to offer upcoming officers from his wealth of experience.
“While we mourn our illustrious departed senior colleague today, we take solace in our confidence that he has gone to rest in the bossom of the lord. We love but God loves you more”, he said.
In his remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said Badeh was an astute air man who earned over 6,000 hours during his flying career.
Abubakar said circumstances surrounding his death must spur members of the armed forces to rededicate themselves to the service and deal decisively with crime and perpetrators of crime.
“The loss of this professional and patriotic gentleman must spur the rest of us in not only in the armed forces but indeed in Nigeria to rededicate country and our people to deal decisively with crime and criminality.
“We must continue to work and redouble our efforts in supporting the police and other internal security agencies to ensure the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book
“I’m deeply touched and saddened by the manner in which we lost such an accomplished general who attained the peak of his chosen career in the Nigerian Armed Forces,” he said.
Abubakar said Badeh was “a very jovial, principled and compassionate general whose leadership and good nature positively influenced his peers and subordinates.
“ACM AS Badeh will be greatly missed and fondly remembered for his invaluable service to the Nigerian Armed Forces and indeed Nigeria.
“Be assured that the NAF and indeed the country will remain ever grateful to you for your service and sacrifice,” he said.
In line with military tradition, the defence minister, service chiefs, the widow of the diseased and members of the 21 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) performed the wreath laying ceremony.