The sacrifices of fallen officers and men in the war against terrorism will never be in vain, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
He said their memories would be eternally etched in the hearts and minds of fellow citizens for whose sake they laid down their lives.
The President was reacting to the death of Lt.-Col. Abu Ali, one of Nigeria’s finest and bravest soldiers.
Also, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, said the death of Lt.-Col. Ali in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists was an eye-opener in the fight against insurgency.
Buhari, in a condolence statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said he was shocked by the news of the officer’s death with other gallant soldiers during an encounter with 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.”
He explained that the late colonel “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.”
The President said the late colonel and his fallen colleagues brought glory to the Army and the country for laying down their lives for others.
He noted that their heroic sacrifices were “so immeasurable that no words can do justice to their patriotism and remarkable courage”.
Buhari, who called on the late Col. Ali’s father, Brigadier-Gen. Abu Ali (rtd) to console the family, promised that the death of his son and others in battle would never be in vain.
“He was a gallant soldier, never to be forgotten. He has brought a good name to the family,” said the President.
He called on members of the Armed Forces not to let the tragic incident dampen their morale and spirit, adding that under no circumstances should Boko Haram terrorists be allowed to destroy the will of Nigerian troops.
“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”.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Yusuf Buratai, has described the death of Lt-Col. Abu Ali, and other gallant personnel in the line of duty as a death too many.
He however stated that their sacrifices must not be in vain.
To this end, Buratai called for public support but warned against media smear campaign against the military in its quest to mop up the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists.
The Army Chief made this call on Monday in Abuja at a seminar on Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria with the theme, “Assessing the Threats of Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria.”