Chief Of Defence Staff’s Feckless Remarks


On Tuesday, Alex Badeh, an Air Chief and Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff was quoted as saying it is immaterial which town Boko Haram has taken. The comment followed questions posed to him by newsmen regarding the fall of Vintim, his hometown to Boko Haram Islamists. The CDS responded that he was always worried irrespective of the territory overrun by the insurgents.

On surface, the CDS may have appeared to assuage the fears of his countrymen by indicating how much he cared about their security.  He really means well in that regard, it appears. Problem is, the casualties from the Boko Haram-yoked zone are far too depressing to accept Badeh’s feckless comment as a mark of patriotism and mark of military craftsmanship.

If anything, we believe the military brass hat’s attitude to the success recorded by Boko Haram is that of a man who has failed in his responsibility. Under his watch as head of Nigeria’s military, we have lost many  local government areas to Boko Haram across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

Under his watch we have had Nigerian soldiers fleeing to foreign territories because they couldn’t confront the superior onslaught from the insurgents. With Badeh at the helm of the Nigerian military the crisis in the northeast simply grew from bad to worse, as communities, towns continue to fall and even states are on the brink of being overrun by Boko Haram.

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Recently Badeh sold Nigerians another dummy that a ceasefire was being negotiated with the Islamic militants to end their gruesome attacks on parts of the country. As it turned out, this was a hoax, the purpose of which, perhaps only the CDS knows.

It is on the basis of the manifestation of gross inability to speak the truth to his countrymen that we believe the military chief has failed. The fact that he could lie serially to the public is an indication that he doesn’t deserve to be trusted with the security of the nation. While he may not care about whether his home in Vintim was not important, we know he has the capacity to buy as many other such houses elsewhere. His colleagues who recently retired from the military have shown the possibilities available in their private pockets while the Nigerian army continues to fight Boko Haram with obsolete weapons. We know the trouble in Badeh’s mind. It is of the guilt of the innocent Nigerians who have died under his watch.

By refusing to call for direct international support, Badeh and the Nigerian government should take the blame for the level of havoc done by Boko Haram in parts of the country. We recall that the other officers who, in the capacity of the current service chiefs lost their jobs, did not fare lesser than the present occupants of offices of Chief of Army Staff, Naval and Air Staff including their superior, the Chief of Defence Staff.

They have failed the country through their actions and inactions. And there is no evidence that under their leadership the nation can get out of this insurgency quagmire. Isn’t it a shame that while Nigeria is chasing peace for Burkina Faso, the nation is under serious siege by Boko Haram? Between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, which country needs urgent intervention most?

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