By Uche Amunike
The late Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali who died while fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the North East on November 4, 2016 was finally honoured by the Defence Headquarters for his gallantry and professionalism.
The award was received by his daughter, Fatima Abu-Ali and supported by his widow, Samira Abu-Ali during the country’s Independence Anniversary dinner organized by the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
A total of 12 officers and 12 soldiers were honoured at the event and Ali was one of them.
He was eulogized by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabo who described him as being gallant, dedicated and professional when commanding troops against terrorists in the North East.
He explained that it was important for the armed forces to honour their personnel who duly distinguished themselves in the field of battle.
He further stated that the event was organized in order to adhere to military regimentation and clearly demonstrate the reinvigoration and joint operation being experienced in the Nigerian armed forces.
He maintained that the memory and sacrifices of their slain colleagues who laid their lives in the line of duty and paid the supreme price was not in vain and will never be in vain.
He lauded the role of the Nigerian armed forces in the Nigerian project and stressed that the members of the armed forces were seriously engaged in addressing the current myriad of security challenges that threaten the foundation of the nation’s unity, security and well-being like never before, in the history of the country.
This, he said, has resulted to the tremendous sacrifices made by the armed forces while rising to the challenge of answering the clarion call.
He added that the armed forces of Nigeria are not discouraged or daunted by those challenges and will always come out victorious.
Irabor appreciated the spouses of officers and men, including the husbands of some female officers and soldiers who have dedicated their lives to serving the nation.
He enjoined the armed forces to keep being committed to defending the territorial integrity of the nation and assured that the military will continue to support democratic governance in the country while ensuring that they attain a more secure and prosperous Nigeria.
Still on posthumous awards, Joe Blankson has just been given a posthumous award by President Muhammadu Buhari for paying the supreme price after saving 13 people from drowning after a boat accident at the Abonnema-Bakana Waterway in Rivers State and July 28 2018. He died when attempting to save more people.
President buhari shared pictures of the event on his verified Facebook page where he described Blankson as a true Nigerian hero.
He explained that Blankson was honoured at the State House for successfully rescuing 13 people, but tragically dying while trying to save the 14th person, adding that he was the sole casualty of the boat accident.
He presented the Presidential Special Award for Bravery and Patriotism to the late hero’s wife, Mercy and his two children in recognition of the greatness and heroism of their husband and father, while assuring that the best of Nigeria and Nigerians will continue to be celebrated as the nation looks forward to a better, brighter and greater future.