By Dipo Olowookere
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has described late Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Abu Ali as a national hero whose battleground conduct was worthy of commendation and emulation by all Nigerians.
Mr Sani Bello said Abu Ali’s discipline, gallantry, bravery, patriotism, selfless service, commitment and clear understanding of the battle space and what was at stake ensured various successes recorded in operations he led in the fight against Bokom Haram particularly liberation of earlier occupied territory by terrorists in the North East.
The Governor, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, said Abu Ali was an example of a gentleman officer who lived by the professional demand of his calling through tactical deployment of strategic directive from military high command in support of counter terrorism operation (Operation Lafiya Dole) in the North East.
“Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Abu Ali’s understanding of military regimentation, command and control structure as well as leadership spirit imbued in him ensured that his troops respected him; and senior commanders at strategic and command levels had confidence in him.
“He lived and died for Nigeria. The tributes, testimony and outpouring of emotions by his troops and others who encountered him in the course of his professional career which earned him accelerated promotion and Chief of Army Staff, COAS’s Award for Exceptional Bravery and Excellence was an indication that he was a war hero, who knows nothing more than service to God and Nation,” the Governor said.
Mr Sani Bello said that Mr Abu Ali’s timeless quote (pray, stay alert and stay alive. If someone must die let it be me”) which has become viral with his death revealed the kind of personae and life that he lived as a military officer.
Governor Sani Bello condoled President Muhammadu Buhari; Defence Minister, Brigadier Gen Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd); Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Kogi Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello; Etsu Bassa Nge, Brig. Gen. Abu Ali (rtd); Officers and Men of 272 Tank Battalion and entire Abu Ali family over the irreparable loss.
He prayed Allah to grant late officer ‘aljana fidausi’ and grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Until his death, the award-winning officer fondly called Sarki Yaki was the Commanding Officer, 272 Task Force Battalion at Malam Fatori in Northern Borno State. He is survived by his father, Etsu Bassa Nge, Brig Gen Abu Ali (rtd); wife and three children.
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