Man, by creation, possesses two parts to his being. He is often assessed and judged by the side he chooses to display.
Currently, retired Air Chief Marshal Alexander Sabundu Badeh, former Chief of Defence Staff, is undergoing trial in the hands of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged corruption while in office. A Four-Star general in the dock?His is likened to the Biblical Prophet without honour except in his own country.
Unfortunately,the Nigerian state has chosen to crucify Air Marshal Badeh rather than praise and recognise his contribution to the development of the country. Today he has become a victim of persecution and circumstances that is calculated to rubbish the sacrifice he has made for his fatherland. In the face of this, however, he remains a hero among his people and his legacies stand him out not only as a true son of Vimtim, in Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
After putting in 38 years 10 months 10 days in his career and risen to the highest position in the Nigerian military, Badeh surely deserved more than he is getting from the country at the moment. As a flying officer through his Air Force career, Marshal Badeh’s mental alertness and acumen endeared him to have flown many notable Nigerian and international statesmen.
Among the people Badeh flew during his career was former American President, Bill Clinton, one-time Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan, former Nigerian presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, among many other dignitaries.
Dissecting the astounding achievements of Marshal Badeh, it is realised that is more of general philanthropist rather than a military philanthropist. Sabundu Badeh, while in power, used his position and influence to bring sanity back to his community a step that earned him several accolades from within and outside, as well as respect and commendation from traditional institutions in the area. One recounts how he often shed tears recounting how his people used to share brooks with cattle and other domestic animals.
In service, he always utilised opportunities to advocate for the betterment of his people at various times. He is forever a hero in his community especially when he unsuccessfully appealed to then Military Governor of Gongola State, Jonah Jang and Governor Murtala Nyako, over the acute water shortage facing his people.
While serving as CAS, Badeh sunk several boreholes in villages across Vimtim community in order to combat water scarcity that hitherto claimed the lives of many in the area.
After the problem of potable water was effectively sorted out, Badeh built an earth Dam so that farmers can still plant and harvest crops even during the dry season. He started a tomato pilot farm scheme for the youths which has taken many out of poverty today.
He facilitated the establishment of Air Force Comprehensive Secondary School in Yola, where young Nigerians will have foreknowledge about the Nigerian Air force, preparing their minds on the future ahead. Furthermore, he ensured that the Yola NAF Station, long abandoned by successive administrations, was brought back to life. Today, the Yola NAF base is undoubtedly the most critical to the Air Force in its fight against insurgency in the North East.
Having come from Boko Haram-infested zone, Marshal Badeh suprerintended over an ill-equipped military that boldly confronted the insurgents. It was his bravery that ensured the insurgents were pushed farther back to the North East, a platform on which the current military leadership is now building.
Of course time and space would not permit the mention of Badeh’s prowess while he served his fatherland, but we his people will not forget in a jiffy the good work our own did for the survival of democracy and fight against insurgents. He deserves all round praise and not persecution as is being done currently.
His current travails and character assassination of his person go to show how desperate some individuals and groups are to put dent on the general’s image. Otherwise, why is he the only Service Chief being investigated for alleged bloated personnel emoluments during his tenure as Chief of Air Staff between 2010 and 2013, when it is an established fact within the armed forces that the practice are commonplaces across services.
Why single out Badeh while compensating a fellow service chief who insiders revealed also benefited from Army personnel emoluments with ministerial appointment from this government. Is it because Badeh could not be linked to the Dasuki arms deal or because he could not be indicted with arms procurement as CDS? The question is why misleading the gullible public that Badeh is being prosecuted for arms money? I am consoled by the fact that he will be vindicated.