It was a pensive and tearful atmosphere as Muhammad Abu-Ali, Nigeria’s war hero, was buried after a national funeral in Abuja on Monday.
Even, Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, could not hold back tears as he read the funeral oration at the graveside of of Abu-Ali and his men.
Abu-Ali, a lieutenant colonel, was killed by Boko Haram insurgents in a night raid at Mallam Fatori, Borno state, last Friday.
Six soldiers – Muazu Ibrahim, Hussani Jafaru, Bassey Okon, Chukwu Simon and Patrick Paul – were also killed in the attack.
They were all buried after a brief ceremony on Monday.
“They were brave, precise, professional and inspiring. They led the battle to recapture the following towns: Monguno, Baga, new Marte, Bama, Gwoza, Banki Junction, Gamboru-Ngala, Yale, Yanteke, Bita, Deruwa, Daira Kangaruwa and Mallam Fatori,” Buratai said.
“In these battles, they rescued children and women, fathers and mothers, the young and the old and restored peace and hope to Nigerian citizens.
“At last, on Nov. 4, they paid the supreme sacrifice in the battle of Mallam Fatori.”
Represented by Abba Kyari, his chief of staff, President Muhammadu Buhari, said the deceased had shown unalloyed commitment to the nation.
“They were fearless, responsive, inspiring, selfless and dedicated to their duties,” he said.
“The selflessness of these gentlemen reinvigorate the memories of other great fallen heroes, who stood firm in the defence of our dear nation.”
Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno; Lai Mohammed, minister of information; Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior; and Senators Ali Ndume, Dino Melaye and Phillip Aduda, were at the occasion.
Also at the burial were Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, and Toyin Saraki, wife of the senate president.
Source : TheCable