Nigerians and soldiers confronting Boko Haram terrorists in the North East are mourning the death of Lt. Col. Muhammad Abu Ali, described as a gallant, battle tested and trusted patriotic soldier of the Nigerian Army.
In a statement on Saturday, the Theatre Command Centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, said Ali, nicknamed, Sarkin Yaki [Chief Warrior], was the Commanding Officer, 272 Task Force Battalion at Mallam Fatori in Northern Borno.
Nigerians also took to social media to mourn one of the bravest soldier in the army.
The deceased was granted accelerated promotion from rank of major to lieutenant-colonel late last year for his courageous performance in a series of fight against Boko Haram.
He died in confrontation with suspected Boko Haram terrorists who attacked 119 Battalion, Nigerian Army location at Mallam Fatori on Friday, in a failed attempt to capture the town.
Four other soldiers also died in the attack.
“He served the nation with unwavering commitment and dedication, paying the ultimate price so that millions can sleep on their beds in peace.
“We are deeply pained at the loss of one so selfless and committed to routing the misguided terrorists from the North of the country,” it said.
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.
The centre said that it was deeply pained by Ali’s demise who served as “the face of the campaign against Boko Haram which embodied commitment, loyalty, service and hope for a better, peaceful and prosperous nation.”
The statement added that the deceased was “a source of inspiration to us and millions of Nigerians praying for the speedy end of the insurgency.
“At this point we pray for his family and the Nigerian Army that God gives them the fortitude to bear the loss.
“Ali and others who have lost their lives in the ongoing campaign will never be forgotten.”