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EXCLUSIVE: Lt.-Col Abu Ali was preparing for Sambisa operation before Boko Haram killed him

EXCLUSIVE: Lt.-Col Abu Ali was preparing for Sambisa operation before Boko Haram killed him
November 06
16:01 2016
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Had fate chosen a separate sequence of events, Muhammad Abu Ali, the lieutenant-colonel killed by Boko Haram on Friday, would still be alive.

Abu, commanding officer of the 272 Task Force Tank Battalion, died at about 10.00pm on Friday when suspected insurgents attacked the 119 Battalion Nigerian army location at Mallam Fatori, northern Borno state.

But a senior army official who spoke with TheCable on Sunday said Ali was close to leaving Mallam Fatori ahead of an army raid on Sambisa Forest.

The officer, who asked not to be named, also confirmed that Ali was not in his tank — his most prized weapon — when the attack happened.

“He was outside the tank; he was outside with his radio system. And because it was dark, nobody could exactly see the enemies who shot him,” he said.

“The firing came from behind. When these people [Boko Haram] came, he went towards that direction to see what was happening. He was not in the tank.”

He also spoke about how the soldiers who were killed with Abu may have survived if they had the most basic tool for smothering night attacks.

“You know, night attacks are always difficult,” he said.

“If you’re going for night attacks, you need your night sight — your night vision goggle — so that you can identify your targets clearly. You know what it means to fight in the dark? Confusion. You don’t know who is who.

“But I tell you what, there are only two night vision goggles to an entire battalion. In some cases, you will even find a battalion that has no single night vision goggle.”

A battalion normally comprises 700 soldiers, but the army typically deploys under-strength battalions against Boko Haram, some containing 300 to 400 soldiers.

“Ali went to Mallam Fatori, and the while thing was successful, it was after the operation that this Boko Haram attack was launched,” the official continued.

“The army was preparing for an attack in Sambisa, so Ali was to withdraw from Mallam Fatori ahead of the Sambisa operation. He was preparing to come back when this thing happened.

“There was serious preparation, which means it would happen soon. He had already received orders to withdraw from Mallam Fatori and come for onward movement to Sambisa. It also means that if Boko Haram had delayed that attack by a few days, Ali might have left Mallam Fatori alive.”

Back in June, TheCable paid tribute to Ali’s professionalism and bravery, following words of commendation by soldiers directly involved in the war against Boko Haram.

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26 Comments

  1. Billy
    Billy November 06, 22:23

    OMG that guy was taken out. I got uneasy for his safety when I read about him in Cable Exclusive story in June. Something made me feel worry about Nigeria and any of its rising star anywhere. RIP Colonel Ali. You paid the ultimate price for us all although a painful one to me.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Saint Abacha
    Saint Abacha November 06, 22:56

    What a sad news! Lt col Ali may your gentle soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  3. balleey78
    balleey78 November 07, 07:08

    Your comment..Allah gafarta wa M Abu Ali

    Reply to this comment
  4. Olusola Ajiboye
    Olusola Ajiboye November 07, 08:49

    Two night goggles to a battallion of 700 soldiers!indeed the Nigerian military authorities is sick.that the govt is harbouring a fifth columnist in its political and military structures is very glaring or how can the federal govt explain this long tourtious war against boko haram?

    Reply to this comment
  5. Olusola ajiboye
    Olusola ajiboye November 07, 08:59

    Two night goggles for a battallion of 700 soldiers! The military authorities and the federal govt are certainly harbouring fifth columnists in its structures its very clear why the.war agsinst terror is taking such a long-tortiuos route amd in the process wasting the.bests of our soldiers

    Reply to this comment
  6. elbrunel
    elbrunel November 07, 09:23

    I sincerely feel for Ali and the soldiers that died…. May their gentle souls rest in perfect peace… AMEN

    Reply to this comment
  7. Jay Jay
    Jay Jay November 07, 10:11

    May your soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  8. IzzyCN
    IzzyCN November 07, 10:28

    My heart bleeds for this young gallant army officer. I personally suggest that his death should be probed by military authority, there could be foul play going by his rising profile.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Abdullahi
    Abdullahi November 07, 11:39

    What a great loss
    May his gentle soul rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  10. sisyaku2
    sisyaku2 November 07, 12:03

    May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace

    Reply to this comment
  11. MUSYAK
    MUSYAK November 07, 12:16

    The death of this gentleman and gallant officer, LT. COL. MUHAMMAD ABU ALI has created a big vacuum in the theatre of war with BH insurgents. However, now that we are hearing different stories, as to the cause of his death, the military authority should set up an investigation committee to unravel the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident. YA ALLAH YA JIKAN SA. Amiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!!!

    Reply to this comment
  12. sani Namadi
    sani Namadi November 07, 12:30

    May the souls of our fallen heroes rest in peace.
    I am highly disappointed on the Ministry of defense, the chief of army staff, the security adviser, even the president him self, who is am ex-service, how can a battalion of 700men be using just two night Google, and you want to fight insurgence, this is pure corruption, this men have given up their life to save us, but is this they way of paying them back, am a Nigerian but I am disappointed in my country, thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  13. ABUGIE
    ABUGIE November 07, 14:20

    the good ones dont leave long R I P

    Reply to this comment
  14. Perry
    Perry November 07, 14:27

    I feel sorry for this country, imagine just 2 night vision goggles for 700 men. Oh my God and people are stealing billions of dollar security money. Haa, i’m sad, what a country.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Bobo
    Bobo November 07, 15:41

    An audit should b carried out on how many night vision goggles are there in d Nigerian army as a whole. How much is d cost of a pair? One would b surprise to know that things have been taken for granted.

    Reply to this comment
  16. jimeta
    jimeta November 07, 18:25

    You spoke my mind my Brothers. I wonderif those in authority will get to read our comments.

    Reply to this comment
  17. spendy william
    spendy william November 07, 22:57

    it’s foul play [email protected] nigerian’s are capable of doing anything may their gentle soul rest in peace

    Reply to this comment
  18. Hamiskhan
    Hamiskhan November 07, 23:43

    Your comment..All i can said is may gentle, brave soul rest in jannat al-firdaus

    Reply to this comment
  19. Flamez
    Flamez November 08, 02:41

    When is nigeria gonna wake up from all these rubbish they r doing? Toying with the lives of our troops? No adequate care, no war gears, no international training what tha fuck is wrong with this stupid government? How do u expect them to fight with the enemies?

    Reply to this comment
  20. zubainatu
    zubainatu November 08, 22:17

    ALLAHU AKBAR ubangiji Allah ya jikan Muhammad abu Ali Allah yasa aljanatul firdaws ce makomarsa Allah yaba iyayensa dama gasa baki daya hakuri Allahu akbar

    Reply to this comment
  21. Bawan Allah
    Bawan Allah November 09, 12:01

    May Allah make aljannatul rirdaus as his final home amin

    Reply to this comment
  22. adeiza okene
    adeiza okene November 09, 22:44

    It is a doll bad news that most of army official and
    the panzer in the field lack are not adequately equipped. Apc,APC wake up and save this good nation call Nigeria

    Reply to this comment
  23. Ibrahim Yau
    Ibrahim Yau November 10, 13:05

    May his gentle soul rest in peace.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Bash
    Bash November 12, 20:20

    Oh!just can’t believe this cuty is gone rest well Colonel,your efforts shall never be in vain.

    Reply to this comment
  25. JIDU
    JIDU November 17, 07:01

    Psychology comment..My Almighty God must surely destroy any one that has hand in this young mans death, most especially among the Nig. Armies. My able prince, may your soul rest in a perfect peace… AMEN! AMEN!! AMEN!!!

    Reply to this comment
  26. bala
    bala June 12, 18:36

    This gallant officer was assassinated by it own and his assassination was planned by his envious

    Reply to this comment

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