By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has approved the promotion of Private Illyasu Bala to the rank of Lance Corporal for exceptional courage and gallantry in the war against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Area.
The Chief of Military Public Information for Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Col. Timothy Antigha, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said that the Commanding Officer, 118 Task Force Battalion, Lt.-Col. Murtala Aminu, recommended Bala to the Force Commander of MNJTF, Maj.-Gen Ibrahim Yusuf, for automatic promotion.
Antigha quoted Aminu as saying, “Private Bala who is only three years in service has been exemplary, courageous and a source of inspiration to his peers.
“His gallantry in the face of the enemy has been exceptional”.
According to Antigha consequently, on the authority of Buratai, the Force Commander promoted and decorated the soldier to the admiration and applause of the entire battalion.
He said that while addressing the troops, Yusuf commended them for their courage and services to their fatherland.
According to Antigha, Yusuf emphasised the need for collaboration between Nigerian and Nigerien forces fighting in Bosso – Mallam Fatori axis in order to benefit from the experiences and expertise of each other.
“As a morale booster and mark of appreciation for their services and patriotism, the Force Commander decorated commanders, some officers and soldiers with Operation YANCIN TAFKI medal.
“It would be recalled that in the last couple of weeks troops location in Mallam Fatori have been under repeated attacks by Boko Haram Terrorists.
“However, on each of those occasions, troops have robustly defended their location, counter – attacked and inflicted heavy losses in personnel and equipment on Boko Haram.
“The maiden visit of the new Force Commander to troops in the front line, therefore, provided the opportunity to reward the gallant soldier,” he said. (NAN)