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Alex Badeh: The Price of Corruption.

“If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.” – Muhammadu Buhari

Last night when the news of ex CDS Alex Badeh’s murder was broken, I did not immediately believe it. I thought that it was one of those fake news that have characterized the social media and by extension the Nigerian media of late. But when I saw the same report on the website of reputable media houses, I knew that the incident wasn’t fake but still doubted its reality. Nigeria is a theatre of absurdity and we live in strange times. It could have been an advanced version of Dino Melaye’s 11 hours on the tree top drama, I thought.

Later when I saw the unfortunate pictures of his lifeless body lying helplessly in his car, I knew that Alex Badeh had been assassinated by yet to be identified assailants. Therefore, I wish to express my sincere condolences to his family, friends and now former associates, while calling on government to immediately put everything in place to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book.

One of my best friend’s favorite quotes back in our undergraduate days is, “If you shy away from your responsibilities, you can never escape its consequences.” And while many Nigerians are busy accusing government of not doing enough to protect citizens, with some wondering what the fate of the ordinary citizen would be, if ex military chiefs could be killed like chickens (General Alikali and now Badeh), I chose to look at the bigger picture instead.

Alex Badeh, to me is a victim of the monster that he helped create and nurture. The guy allegedly stole money meant to buy arms to combat terror and criminality. He’s standing trial before an Abuja Federal High Court and will on Jan. 16, 2019 open his defence in the alleged N3.97 billion fraud charge preferred against him by the Federal Government.(https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/alleged-n3-97bn-fraud-badeh-to-open-defence-jan-16/)

Whether he diverted the money alone or in connivance with others, that 3.97 billion naira could have been put to better use to combat crimes and terrorism if not diverted. Remember also that the EFCC in February last year had admitted before the court that it found $1m cash inside of Badeh’s bedroom (https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/alleged-n3-9bn-fraud-recovered-1m-badehs-bedroom-efcc/).

Nothing justifies his murder as he’s by law innocent until proven guilty, but Badeh clearly abused his office to enrich himself at the expense of the security of the nation. Now, the chickens have come home to roost. It’s unfortunate. The Mubi born Air Force chief did nothing to protect his own people of Mubi when Boko Haram struck in November 2014. In fact, an unverified media account claimed that he moved his family in an helicopter a few hours before the attack. The claim was later debunked by DHQ.

As we mourn the exit of Badeh, I hope that all other persons occupying public positions and privileges will learn that the price of corruption is too high to pay. Today, the Boko Haram menace still stares us in the face as though monies were not budgeted and released for military wares. Over $2.1 meant to purchase arms was allegedly diverted by the NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki. How heartless can a man be?

Public officials whether elected or appointed who are abusing their offices should know that the monster they help create today will, sooner or later come back to haunt and hunt them and their children. Our health sector is in a terrible state. Poor citizens are dying of ailments that could have been treated here if government had provided the needed facilities. The rich elite jet out of the country to seek treatment over minor head or toothache. Plying the Abuja-Kaduna highway has become synonymous with suicide. Bandits and kidnappers have almost taken over the forests between Sokoto and Zamfara. No where seems to be safe again in this country. Yet, the only things on the minds of the ruling elites is the next general elections!!!

Like the popular saying goes, the chickens will always come home to roost.

Adieu, Badeh!!!

Sanusi Lafiagi

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