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AIR CHIEF MARSHAL BADEH BOWS OUT, SOLICITS BETTER MILITARY FUNDING

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In line with the military culture and tradition, the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh (Rtd) has been pulled out of the military in an occasion that took place at the Mogadishu cantonment, Abuja amid pomp and pageantry. The pulling out ceremony marked his formal disengagement, an end to a glorious career in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh who rose through ranks and appointments to the pinnacle of his career was a member of 21 Regular Course, a Pilot and Instructor who accumulated over 6,000 flying hours with wide experience in international flying operations across the world.

In his valedictory speech, Air Chief Marshal Badeh stated that he has contributed his quota in developing and building a strong military despite complex challenges of co-ordinating the war against the insurgents that characterised his tenure. He blamed various past governments for neglecting, under equipping and under funding the military and urged the government to carry out a comprehensive review of the nation’s military force structure to determine the size, capability and equipment holding required to effectively defend the nation and provide needed security.

“Militaries are equipped and trained in peace time, so as to be able to confront challenges in war time. Unfortunately, that has not been our experience as a nation. Over the years, the military was neglected and seemingly deliberately under equipped by certain regimes for selfish end, while other regimes deliberately reduced the size of the military and under funded it without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military, which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength. Accordingly, when faced with the crises in the North East and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitments and trainings, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in” ,

He therefore appealed to the relevant government agencies to support the military in developing a vibrant defence industry complex to meet the critical arms and equipment needs of the military to reduce total dependence on other nations for supplies. This he said would enable Nigeria retain her dignity as a nation and have freedom of action in international affairs.

Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh expressed deep gratitude to Almighty God for direction, protection and empowerment in his career. He thanked the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan for his appointment as the 15th Chief of Defence Staff and also gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to work with him for a couple of weeks and to the immediate past Service Chiefs for their co-operations. He wished the current leadership of the military a successful tenure just as he prayed for total victory in the war against insurgency in the country.