The remains of its former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, was laid to rest Wednesday 23 January 2019 at the National Military Cemetery Abuja where family members of the deceased and other sympathizers from all works of life came to bid farewell to the 4 Star-General.
Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh Rtd who hails from Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa state was a member of the 21 Regular Course (RC) Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). The late senior officer started his flying career at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), 301 Flying Training School Kaduna on the Bulldog 123 primary trainer aircraft in 1979. He also attended the Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vanee Air Force Base, United State from 1981 – 1982. As a qualified flying instructor pilot with vast international flight operational experience, the former CDS had over 6000 accumulated flying hours on the following aircrafts: Bulldog 123, Falcon 900, Gulfstream 5, Dorniers 128-6 and 228 as well as Hawker Sydney 125 and 100 aircrafts.
The late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was the 18th Chief of Air Staff from 2012 to 2014 and the 15th CDS from 2014 – 2015. Other key appointment held by the late Senior Officer included Commander, Presidential Air Fleet, Deputy Director Training and the Director Research at the DHQ. The former CDS was also one time Director National Military Strategy at the National Defence College (NDC). He equally served as the Chief of Policy and Plans, at Headquarters NAF as well as the Air Officer Commanding Training Command, NAF Kaduna.
Speaking while paying tributes to the late former CDS, General Abayomi Gabriel Alonisakin, the incumbent CDS, stated the AFN and the nation is going through a glooming and depressing moment as a result of the death of Air Chief Marshal Badeh. He pointed out that the late senior military officer was an accomplished pilot who rose to the pick of his military career as CDS, noting that he was a senior colleague, whom he knew at the NDC as participants of course 14.
Commenting on his contributions to the development of the military, General Olonisakin disclosed that his immediate predecessor provided the much needed leadership and directions for the AFN especially in the fight against insurgency while during his tenure as the CAS, Air Chief Marshal Badeh Rtd left indelible legacies in the NAF.
Earlier in his remarks, the CAS described the late Air Chief Marshal Badeh as an astute airman and a good friend who would be missed by all. Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the former CDS had been a source of inspiration to officers and men since his early days as a young pilot and subsequent appointment as CAS and CDS.
While speaking on the unfortunate death of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the CAS called for a collective approach towards tackling crimes and criminality. “We most continue to work and redouble our effort in supporting the police and other internal security agencies to ensure that the perpetuators of this heinous crime are brought to book” said the CAS. On his part, Colonel Davies Abel Rtd who spoke on behalf of RC 21, revealed that the late Air Chief Marshal Badeh during his career in the military flew VIPs, top government functionaries, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries and diplomats. He stated that the deceased would always be remembered by his course-mates.
During the funeral, representative of the Minister of Defence, the CDS, Service Chiefs, representative of the RC 21 and the Mrs Mary Iyah Badeh laid wreaths in honour of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of the Nigeria’s national flag to the widow of the late CDS, Mrs Mary Badeh.
Among the dignitaries at the event: were the Governors of Adamawa, Plateau, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Permanent and Secretary, Ministry of Defence, members of the Adamawa state house of Assembly. Others are former CDS, service chiefs and former Inspector General of Police as well as serving and retired senior military officers.
The service of songs was held at the NAF Protestant church Airport road Abuja. It would recalled that the late Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh who lost his life on 18 December, 2018 when some unknown gunmen attacked his vehicle along Abuja – Keffi road.