Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Alex Badeh, has denied rumours that he sent an helicopter to his hometown, Vimtim, in Adamawa State to evacuate members of his family hours before the town fell to insurgents.
According to a statement posted on the blog of Nigerian Defence Headquarters, a ‘reckless publication,’ had asserted that Badeh sent a military helicopter to evacuate members of his family before the terrorists stormed the town.
“The attention of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has been drawn to an article with the caption “The Helicopters that evacuated CDS Badeh’s family from Mubi: A lesson for All Nigerians,” written by a certain Elvis Iyorngurum and posted in an online news outlet, NewsRescue.com on November 6.
“The said article, which contained strings of deliberate falsehood and spurious allegations, claimed that a few hours before the attack on Mubi by the terrorists, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal A.S. Badeh flew in helicopters and evacuated his family from the town and abandoned everyone else to their fate.
“While the DHQ remains at a loss as to the motive for these unconscionable fabrications, it is pertinent to quickly repudiate the false claim and to state clearly that at no time did the CDS send any helicopter to evacuate any of his family members before, during or after the attack on his hometown.
“Contrary to the claims by the author, the helicopter which flew to Mubi was on an operational mission to reinforce the ground troops in preparation of efforts to repel the attack. The helicopter did not convey any civilian or relation of the CDS as disdainfully insinuated in the article.
“Considering the fact that the falsehood packaged against Air Chief Marshal Badeh by Elvis has not only been mischievously and widely circulated, it has been further made viral on the social media, it can no longer be dismissed as one of those careless efforts in the campaign to tarnish the name and integrity of this senior officer and the Armed Forces, who are doing their best to address the security situation in the country. The damage done by the fabrications contained in that article has not only personal, but national security implications,” the post read.
Boko Haram had last month overran Badeh’s hometown, Vimtim, going straight to the CDS’s house on reaching the town, but it was found empty. However, not only Badeh’s house was empty, the people of the town had deserted the place, following news of Boko Haram’s exploits on Mubi, Adamawa’s second-largest town.
“All the people of Vimtim had already deserted the town,” John Kwale, a former chairman of the Mubi North Local Government, had told BBC Hausa radio at the time.