By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-President Muhammadu Buhari last night eulogized Colonel Abu Ali and other fallen military officers and men who met their deaths while fighting against terrorists and insurgency in Nigeria, saying their sacrifices would never go in vain.
The president also stated that their memories would be eternally etched in the hearts and minds of Nigerians for whose sake they laid down their lives.
Buhari remarks came on the heels of Col Ali’s death who he described as “one of Nigeria’s finest and bravest soldiers in recent history.”
In a condolence statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam 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.”
The president stated that Ali “was an extraordinary officer who inspired respect and adoration among those he commanded”, adding that “one of the greatest attributes of a war hero is the ability to help your troops overcome fear in the face of danger. ”
He also stated that “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.
Making a 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 late Colonel Ali’s father, Brigadier-Gen. Abu Ali (Rtd) to console the family , reassured them that the death of their son 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,” he said.
The president also 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.”
According to him, “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 to represent him at the funeral of Colonel Abu Ali and others today.
The members of the committee also included the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello and the Minister of State Solid Minerals Development, Baba Buhari.