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Leautenant Colonel A H Ali, Mowed Down By Tactless Delta Youths, By Zagaz Ola Makama

On March 14, 2024, a community launched a senseless assault on the troops of the 181 Amphibious Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State.

This attack resulted in the tragic loss of Lt. Colonel Ali, two Majors, one Captain, and 12 soldiers who were committed to brokering peace between warring communities.
Lt. Col. Abdullahi Hassan Ali, a valiant and results-driven officer, had a distinguished career marked by courage, focus, and unwavering dedication to his duty. From his early days with the 198 Special Forces Battalion to his leadership in successful operations in the Northeast and beyond, Lt. Col. Ali exemplified the qualities of a true military leader.
His leadership was tested in challenging missions, such as the operation in the Timbuktu Triangle and the retaking of Dikwa and Marte from terrorists. With each operation, Lt. Col. Ali displayed extraordinary bravery and strategic acumen, leading his troops to victory while securing critical objectives.
Beyond the counterinsurgency operations in the North East, Lt. Col. Ali demonstrated his valor in combating bandits and stabilizing troubled regions in Kaduna and Niger States.
His unwavering commitment to his duty, his men, and the mission resulted in numerous successes against criminal elements threatening the peace and security of the region.
Lt. Col. Abdullahi Hassan Ali’s legacy is one of bravery, professionalism, and unwavering dedication to serving his country.
His meticulous attention to detail, commitment to the welfare of his officers and soldiers, and relentless pursuit of excellence set him apart as a true hero worth honoring.
Lt. Col. Ali’s tragic end at the hands of those he swore to protect serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by brave men and women in uniform.
His story, along with that of his fallen comrades, resonates with the profound impact of their service and the ultimate price they paid in the line of duty.
As we reflect on the life and service of Lt. Col. AH Ali and his brave comrades, let us remember their courage, selflessness, and unwavering commitment to defending their fellow countrymen.
Their sacrifices shall not be forgotten, and their legacy will continue to inspire future generations of soldiers and leaders.
In a world marked by uncertainties and dangers, it is the resilience and valor of individuals like Lt. Col. Ali that shine as beacons of hope and strength. May their memory be honored, their deeds celebrated, and their sacrifices remembered as a testament to the enduring spirit of service and sacrifice that defines the noble profession of arms.

The gallantry of Lt Col Abdullahi Hassan Ali

The story of the hard-fighting, ever-focused, result-oriented Lt Col Ali has not been told before now.
An officer of great courage, focus and determination with an uncompromising disposition, Lt Col Ali’s article of faith as a leader of his troops is the encouragement to be courageous in operations and to ensure that successes are achieved while all assigned tasks are accomplished.
Taken on the strength of 198 Special Forces Battalion on the 6th of October, 2020, Lt Col Ali is acclaimed for his commendable sense of responsibility in training, operation, administration and welfare of his troops.
His success-oriented style of command has always been his guiding philosophy while leading his unit in various successful clearance operations in the Northeast and down to the North Central region where he has operated.
On the very first day of January 2013, Lt Col Abdullahi Hassan Ali led his unit into the once notoriously impenetrable Timbuktu Triangle under the auspices of Op TURA TAKAI-BANGO. The mission was the total destruction of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists’ enclaves which included Gorgi, Kafa, Abagajiri, Dusula, Buk, Manguzum, Gorgore Forest, among others. The operation in which his unit was complemented by troops of 134 Special Force Battalion, 199 Special Force Battalion and 402 Special Force Brigade, saw the total obliteration of the targeted enclaves, killing of scores of the terrorists and capture of assorted weapons including Gun trucks, General Purpose Machine Guns, etc.
In continuation of Op TURA TAKAI-BANGO, 402 Special Force Brigade was on 21 February, 2021, tasked to retake Dikwa and Marte from Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
In that operation, Ali exhibited extraordinary leadership, bravery and gallantry that ultimately led to the overwhelming success which saw the elimination of scores of the terrorists and capture of assorted weapons. Of course the ultimate mission of the operation which was the retaking of Marte was achieved.
Less than two weeks later, precisely on the 6 March, his unit alongside the Brigade cleared Missense and Chukun Gudu of terrorist elements while capturing over 20 AK 47 rifles, gun trucks, FN rifles and so on. A few days later he proceeded with his troops to clear Krenoa, Chukun Gudu and environ.
In furtherance of the Army’s offensive tactics, the 402 Special Forces Brigade was tasked on the 8 March 2021 to conduct clearance operations in Sambisa Forest. The indefatigable Ali was to yet again bring to bear his high sense of courage which he knew he needed to increase the morale of his advancing troops who were advancing to summarily destroy various BHTs/ISWAP enclaves. By the time the smoke of their superior firepower died down, enclaves such as Alafa 1 and 2, Njimia, Parisu, Somalia, Kuraba, Sabil Huda, Gobara and Dure, were cleared. Ali also showed heroic impacts in the other exploits which included the destruction of ISWAP fighters at Bulabulin and Alagarno in the general area of Damasak on 24 April 2021.
The officer was also tasked to recapture Kanama from Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters and to reinstate the unit in conjunction with 402 Brigade and 199 Special Force Battalion.
Lt Col AH Ali’s heroic exploits were not limited to the counterinsurgency operations in the north east. Having noted his exceptional bravery and brilliant command style, Ali was directed to conduct the movement of his troops to Kaduna and Niger States on 13 July 2021. The mission of the operation was to combat and clear some Bandit Camps and kidnappers’ hideout under the auspices of Op DOMINION STORM in 1 Division of Nigerian Army area of responsibility.
The officer and his gallant troops conducted a clearance operation along Rijana and other Bandit camps, neutralizing several bandits in the process while a number of weapons including AK 47 rifles and 120 rustled cattle were recovered.
This brings to mind, the intricate tapestry of life, with its twists and turns, highs and lows, moments of joy and sorrow, and contrasts between humility and arrogance, which lead our paths to either sweet or bitter ends.
Life, as described in the Holy Book, is fleeting. Fashioned from clay, we shall all return to dust, leaving behind only memories of the moments, good or bad, that we crafted in our time on earth.
In this fleeting existence, where we chase power, wealth, and ego-driven pursuits, there is one universal truth that binds us all – death.
It comes spontaneously, without regard for status or position – a sobering reminder of our mortality.
Nigerians, and indeed the world, are familiar with the harrowing tales of attacks on Nigerian troops by Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists in the northeast.
However, the story of an attack on Nigerian troops by the very community they were deployed to protect is a rare and tragic occurrence.

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