The Tragic Story of Lt. Col. AH Ali and His 13 Brave Comrades


By Zagazola Makama

In the intricate tapestry of life, with its twists and turns, highs and lows, moments of joy and sorrow, and contrasts between humility and arrogance, our paths lead us 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.

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. Col. 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.

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