Two days ago, on Saturday the 5th of November, Nigeria lost a hero. A real life hero. Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Abu Ali was an army commander who had been at the front lines of the war against Boko Haram. He was instrumental to many victories that decimated and dislodged the mindless group from the towns and villages in the North East of Nigeria where they held sway for a period. I did not know Colonel Mohammed and had not heard about him until his death. But since the news of his demise broke, I have been deeply moved by the outpouring of emotion from those who knew him, particularly from his colleagues in the army who are severely grief stricken.
In a country that celebrates criminals and rewards looters, Colonel Ali was a genuine hero who spared nothing, even his life, to ensure that the rest of us can live ours in peace. The testimonies of those who knew him confirm that he was a gallant and fearless soldier who never shied away from battle. From the pictures i've seen, Lt. Colonel Ali was a humble man who remained true to himself despite his stellar achievements which could have excused him if he chose to be arrogant. He was a shining example of a military leader, and a profound source of inspiration to his comrades in arms. One only needs to view their reaction at his decoration to understand how highly they regarded him.
In life, he was loved because he gave and he was respected because he always stepped up and put himself on the line. In death, he must be celebrated because he paid the ultimate sacrifice. Colonel, you did not die in vain. Your labour, dear hero, will never be in vain. You served with heart and might, to keep us as one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity. For this, we say thank you! Goodnight gallant soldier!