By Andrew Jimoh
One of the events that shocked Nigerians most in 2018 was the Offa Robbery in which 33 citizens, including policemen, were killed by a bloodthirsty gang that carried out what in reality amounted to a terrorist attack going by a review of the CCTv video footage that emerged in its aftermath. Two days after the April 5, 2018 robbery, Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki was at the palace of the traditional ruler of Offa on a condolence visit. Police was to later confirm that leaders of the gang, Ayoade Akinnibosun aka AY, Ibukunle Ogunleye aka Arrow and Adeola Abraham were on Saraki’s entourage to Olofa’s Palace during the condolence visit.
Later in 2018 the disappearance and later confirmed death of a former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali (retired) in Du-Radu Jos, Plateau state was another shocker for the year that ended with the sad killing of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retired) on his way from his farm in Nasarawa state. These are sad deaths considering their violent nature but the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has been dancing Hula Kahiko practically on the graves of the departed.
The song the PDP is dancing to was composed by and performed by the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), apparently directed by the party. The report ridiculously concluded that Badeh and Alkali were killed to cover up corruption in the military. This was even as useful arrests have been made by law enforcement agencies and the suspects have confessed to the roles they played in the separate incidents. This same report, with all the gaping holes in its analysis, is what the PDP has been all over town ululating over.
There can be no greater definition of double standard. Since the PDP is now saying the people that have been separately arrested for the two deaths, and those arrested for the other deaths insinuated in the ISSA report, are not the right suspects, it should be able to help. The investigation should examine any photographs and video clips of condolence visits to the families of the deceased to profile those on the entourage of PDP chieftains. Saraki’s outing in Offa offers experience and precedence that should hold true in these cases since the PDP believes that the right killers are yet to be apprehended.
There is something else the party probably knows that the rest of Nigerians do not know. After all, the alleged corruption that Badeh was standing trial for took place under the PDP’s watch. He would have kept a date with the court sometimes this month had his life not been cut short. Since the period he was standing trial for was under the PDP there is no knowing how his testimony in defence of himself would have damaged the PDP beyond repairs.
The indictment of former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired), over the $2.1 billion armsgate has taught the PDP how one person can land the entire architecture of the party in trouble. It is something they are not willing to risk with Badeh, another top military brass that served the party’s government. If his death is then motivated by a quest to silence him from revealing the names behind the corruption that was alleged to have prevailed under his watch it is logical to hold the PDP as the party with a motive to snuff life out of him.
The PDP should then tell the world all that they know about the killing of Badeh. The party’s leaders should tell the rest of us what they know about Alkali’s death. They should come clean about who else they have murdered to keep a lid on the corruption that was the hallmark of their time in power. The PDP should explain why the former Chief of Defence Staff only met his untimely death when he was due to open the lid on what went down in a matter of days.
From what happened in Offa, it is glaring that the party’s chieftain have in the past mobilized and commissioned criminals that kill Nigerians without restrain. They have also shown the track record for keeping straight faces even when their hands are dripping with fresh blood. The knowledge of this is perhaps behind the stridency with which they are trying to pin Badeh’s death on others when the pointers are all in their direction, assuming those that have confessed to the killing are not the actual suspects. It has the means, it has the experience and it certainly have the motive to kill Badeh and Alkali too.
The question then is: when will the PDP come clear of Badeh? When will they find the decency even in their depravity to give the family and his nation closure? The PDP should be kind enough to immediately explain its role in Badeh’s and Alkali’s deaths. It is the kind thing to do, an act of kindness that might yet redeem the troubled souls of the PDP leaders.
Jimoh is former PDP Youth Leader writing from Abeokuta.