In his handing over ceremony yesterday, the outgoing Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh lamented that he was in charge of a military that underfunded and ill equipped.
This is the exact opposite of what he maintained 6 months ago in January, when it looked liked President Jonathan was going to win re-election and Badeh’s position in the military was sure.
He told the Nigerian Defence Magazine;
The Nigerian military is very well taken care off.
We live in houses we don’t pay for accommodation, we have buses that bring troops to work every day and take them back home, we don’t pay for light, we don’t pay for water, our salaries are good compare to what is paid in the civil place, if someone with school certificate joins the Army, by the time he is five years in the service, his salary has doubled that of a graduate. Why do you think Nigeria is doing that for us? Nigeria is doing that for us because we have vowed that we will defend our nation if need be with our blood; so for a soldier to come up and say am not well equipped, yet you have a rrifle what do you want? You want APC, you want tanks? The basic weapon of an infantry man is riffle, so why should there be mutiny, why should you accuse your commander of leading you into an ambush? Common! How can your Commander lead you to an ambush? If they kill my soldiers then of what use will I be? No commander will do that deliberately. This is the time for Caesar, all the time has been for God, all the time we have been taking salaries, we go and do exercise saying I will do this, I will do that; I will fly like this ad fly like that, all those ones you are preparing for the day Caesar will come and demand for his pound of flesh, and Caesar has come now and he saying, look come and do your work and you are saying you are not going…? No, it does work like that.
– See more at: http://defenceinfo.mil.ng/the-military-remains-the-strong-arm-of-our-democracy-chief-of-defence-staff/
Now that he has been replaced by Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, on orders of the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, Alex Badeh is singing a different tune.
“The task of coordinating the military and other security agencies in the fight against the insurgents is perhaps the most complex and challenging assignment I have had in my over 38 years in service. For the first time, I was head of a military that lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight an enemy that was invisible and embedded with the local populace.
Furthermore, the activities of fifth columnists in the military and other security agencies who leaked operational plans and other sensitive military information to the terrorist, combined to make the fight against the insurgents particularly difficult. The activities of these unpatriotic members of the military not only blunted the effectiveness of the fight, but also led to the needless deaths of numerous officers and men who unwittingly fell into ambushes prepared by terrorists who had advance warnings of the approach of such troops.”