Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Lt. Col. Abu Ali, an indigene of the state, who was killed in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno on Friday.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Petra Akinti-Onyegbule, on Sunday in Lokoja, the governor described the death of Ali as “unfortunate and a monumental loss to Kogi and Nigeria”.
He commiserated with his father, the Etsu Bassa Nge Kingdom, retired Brig.-Gen. Abu Ali, and prayed God to give him and the entire people of Bassa the fortitude to bear the loss.
Late Ali died at about 10 p.m. of Friday, when suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked 119 Battalion, Nigerian Army location at Mallam Fatori area of Borno.
The governor commended Ali’s gallantry as an officer, saying that he served the nation with dedication and commitment and paid the supreme price by laying down his life for the peace of the country.
“The late Col. Ali 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.
“Kogi, 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, as a gallant soldier, “the governor said.
He admonished the colleagues of the deceased in the army not be discouraged by the incident but to regard it as a duty to renew their efforts to fight against insurgency to a standstill at Mallam Fatori in Borno .
Lt.Col. Abu Ali was until his death, the Commanding Officer of 272 Task Force Tank Battalion.
Due to the late senior officer’s exceptional bravery and gallantry, he was given an accelerated promotion from the rank of major to Lt. Col. and was decorated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. – Gen. Tukur Buratai, at Gamboru Ngala on Sept. 9, 2015, during an operational visit.