KOGI State is mourning the death of one of its illustrious sons, Lt. Col. Muhammed Abu Ali, who was killed in an ambush by BokoHaram terrorists last Friday in Borno State. The state’s governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello yesterday commiserated with the family of Etsu of Bassa-Nge Kingdom Brigadier General Abu-Ali (rtd) who was the father of the deceased military officeri. The governor’s condolence was contained in a condolence message issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Petra AkintiOnyegbuleyesterday inLokoja. Alhaji Bello described the death of the officer as unfortunate and “a monumental loss to Kogi State and Nigeria”as a whole. Governor Bello said the late colonel “was a gallant officer who served the nation with his all and paid the supreme price by laying down his life for the peace of the country. He maintained that the late Col. will be remembered for his sacrifice and commitment to the cause of the Nigerian Army to rid the Country of insurgency which has been a source of concern to everyone. The state’s chief executive said in a statement issued by PatraAkintiOnyegbule , his chief press secretary ,”Kogi State and indeed Nigerians will never forget your gallantry as you led a team of the Nigerian Army to recapture Baga from the control of terrorists and you died in active service, gallant soldier.” Governor Bello extended his condolences to the Etsu of Bassa-Nge Kingdom over this devastating loss. He said:”Allahgiveth and He taketh. From Him we came and to Him we return. May Allah give you the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.” He also prayed for the repose of the soul of the late officer. Lt. Col Mohammed Abu Ali, who was killed by Boko Haram terrorists left behind a young wife and child. Ali, a recipient of the Chief of Army Staff Award for exceptional bravery and excellence, led the army units that recovered Gamboru- Ngala, Baga and several communities from the terrorists. Last Friday was an exceptionally sad day for the Nigerian Army as one of Its most efficient fighter died in battle after surviving deadly onslaughts and dodging bullets for years. It was gathered that Muhammed Abu-Ali, a lieutenant colonel, died in an ambush laid for his troops by
the terrorist BokoHaram . Fourteen Boko Haram insurgents and four other soldiers died in the attack, the army said. Lt. Col. Abu Ali, commanding officer of 272 Tank Battalion, is reputed as the army’s bravest commander and fighter in Nigeria’s on-going anti- terrorism war. Last year, he bagged accelerated promotion for his gallantry and efficiency on the battlefield. Highly-placed military officials with knowledge of the battle that claimed the officer and his colleagues informed an online publication of the development. One of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the attack occurred at MallamFatori, a major Boko Haram stronghold on the northernmost tip of Borno State, on Friday evening. The source said Mr. Abu-Ali was hit by several bullets as he tried to reinforce troops to repel an on-going attack in the town. A few hours earlier, Boko Haram launched a sustained attack on the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole. As the battled raged, Col Ali reportedly recognised an immediate need for reinforcement. But his team was met by another group of terrorists while making its way back to the battlefront. Col Ali was reportedly killed in the fire fight that ensued, the source said The attack also left six other soldiers dead, while Boko Haram lost 14 of its members. The terrorists struck shortly after the troops withdrew. “This indicates that the terrorists possibly had advance information of the reduction in the number of troops on the frontline around there,” the source said. The spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Colonel SaniKukasheka Usman, who confirmed the incident said four other soldiers also sustained injury during the fight. In September 9, 2015, Mr. Abu-Ali was granted accelerated promotion by the Chief of Army Staff, TukurBuratai, for his “courage, bravery and exceptional performance.” An expert in handling armoured tanks, Col Abu- Ali’s men dubbed him the “panacea of Boko Haram” due to his unmatched bravery in uprooting terrorists. He was also recognised for the critical roles he played in taking out Boko Haram from many of its strongholds across the Northeast. The Army spokesman, Sani Usman, a colonel, described him as “hero of our time.

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