Buhari Mourns Lt-Col Abu-Ali, Others, Says Sacrifices Won’t Be In Vain
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, says the sacrifices of fallen officers and men in the war against terrorism in Nigeria would never go in vain, and that their memories would be eternally etched in the hearts and minds of fellow citizens for whose sake they laid down their lives.
President Buhari was reacting to the death of Colonel Abu-Ali, one of Nigeria’s finest and bravest soldiers in recent history.
He said in a condolence statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, that he was rudely shocked by the news of the officer’s death along with other gallant soldiers during an encounter with the Boko Haram bandits in Borno State.
According to the President, “a courageous commander does not only give orders, but also joins his men to fight the battle, no matter the risks or the obvious danger”.
He explained that the late Colonel Abu Ali “was an extraordinary officer who inspired respect and adoration among those he commanded”, noting that “one of the greatest attributes of a war hero is the ability to help your troops overcome fear in the face of danger”.
President Buhari said that the late Lt-Colonel Ali and his other fallen colleagues had brought glory to the Army and the country for laying down their lives for the sake of others.
In his passionate condolence to the families of the victims and the Nigerian Army, the President also noted that their heroic sacrifices were “so immeasurable that no words can do justice to their patriotism and remarkable courage.”
President Buhari, who personally called Ali’s father, Brigadier-Gen. Abu Ali (Rtd), to console the family, reassured them that the death of Ali and others in battle would never go in vain. “He was a gallant soldier, never to be forgotten. He has brought a good name to the family,” said the President.
He then called on members of the armed forces not to let the tragic incident to dampen their morale and spirit, adding that under no circumstances should the Boko Haram terrorists be allowed to destroy the will of our troops.
The President said “evil should not be given any chance to defeat good and humanity”, and that “members of our armed forces should remain formidably united in the war against terrorism”.
Meanwhile, the President has appointed a high powered delegation to be led by the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, that includes the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello and the Minister of State Solid Minerals Development, Baba Buhari to represent him at the funeral of Colonel Abu Ali and others on Monday November 7, 2016.
Lt-Col Abu-Ali was among the five soldiers killed when suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a 119 Battalion Nigerian Army location at Mallam Fatori, northern Borno state.
According to the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, the troops repelled the attack and killed 14 Boko Haram terrorists.
However, the five soldiers lost their lives while other soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries during the encounter.
Lt-Col Abu-Ali was the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion.