An army officer decorated by the authorities for his courage in the fight against the terror sect Boko Haram, has fallen in a battle with the insurgents.
Lieutenant Col. Muhammad Abu Ali died Saturday along with three of his men while repelling an attack on a location of 119 Battalion of the Army at Mallam Fatori, Borno State.
Ali was, until his death, the commanding officer 272 Task Force Tank Battalion.
Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, but the troops repelled the attack and killed 14 of the insurgents.
The loss of Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali was a big blow to the Nigerian Army as he has been described as one of the finest and most courageous officer currently deployed against Boko Haram.
Ali’s exceptional bravery and gallantry earned him an accelerated promotion from the rank of major to lieutenant colonel and was personally decorated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai at Gamboru Ngala on September 9, 2015 during an operational visit.
His colleagues recalled the gallant role he played in the recapture of Baga from insurgents.
That February 2015 battle is often cited in military circles as one of the army’s fiercest-ever with Boko Haram.
He was also a key part of the capture of Gamboru-Ngala.
During that decoration, Buratai praised Ali for his “courage, bravery and exceptional performance in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
A soldier who served under him attested to his leadership qualities especially in Baga.
“He led us with the T-72 when we advanced on Monguno and Baga, and he collected those places,” he said of Ali.
The troops recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), seven AK-47 rifles and a large quantity of ammunition from the defeated insurgents.