President Muhammadu Buhari has paid tribute to top Army commander Colonel Abu Ali, who was killed by Boko Haram insurgents late on Friday, November 4.
Leadership reports that President Buhari, in a statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity Garba Shehu, described late Col. Ali as “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.”
The president saluted the courage of the likes of Ali and many other men and women of the Nigerian Army that lay down their lives to keep the country safe.
President Buhari explained that the late Col. Ali “was an extraordinary officer who inspired respect and adoration among those he commanded” and added that “one of the greatest attributes of a war hero is the ability to help your troops overcome fear in the face of danger. “
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.”
Leadership reports that President Buhari personally called late Colonel Ali’s father, Brigadier-Gen. Abu Ali (Ryder) to console the family.
“He was a gallant soldier, never to be forgotten. He has brought a good name to the family,” said the President.
The president then charged members of the armed forces not to let the tragic incident to dampen their morale and spirit. He noted that under no circumstances should the Boko Haram terrorists be allowed to destroy the will of our troops.
The President has also appointed a high-powered delegation led by the chief of staff Abba Kyari and includes the Federal Capital Territory minister Mohammed Bello and Minister of state for solid minerals development Baba Buhari to represent him at the funeral of Colonel Abu Ali and others today, Monday November 7, 2016.
Recall that the sad news of late Col Ali's death was announced by acting Army spokesperson Col. Sani Usman Kukasheka on Saturday, November 5.
A statement from him read in part:
The statement by Usman on Saturday read: “Yesterday at about 10.00pm suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a 119 Battalion Nigerian Army location at Mallam Fatori, northern Borno State. The troops fought gallantly and repelled the attack, killing 14 Boko Haram terrorists.
“Unfortunately, we lost an officer and 4 soldiers, while 4 other soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries during the encounter. One of those killed in action, was Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali, the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion."