* Wants Ali promoted to General
By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and authorities of the Nigerian Army to bestow the posthumous rank of one star General on Lt. Col. Mohamed Abu Ali, who was killed in an attack by Boko Haram last week.
The House also recommended that the six slain soldiers who were killed alongside Ali, be posthumously promoted to the next rank.
The lawmakers made the recommendations at plenary on Tuesday following the adoption of the prayers of a motion sponsored as a matter of urgent public importance by Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki (Sokoto APC) who also urged that a national monument be named after the late officer.
Other recommendations included employment for the spouses of the late personnel, full educational scholarship for their children, and timely disbursement of all benefits accruable to their families.
Dasuki described the death of Ali as an unfortunate incident which is capable of demoralising other troops and arming their killers with a strong tool of derisory propaganda.
“Having paid the highest price payable in defence of one’s nation, the question that has come to haunt us is a befitting way to immortalise such valour. This is so because no number of tributes or financial pledges are enough recognition of the efforts of these fallen patriots,” Dasuki said.
“And this has to be done not only to inspire others to be dedicated and patriotic, but to send a strong message to their killers that indeed their sacrifices are acknowledged and appreciated by the State, in a bid to forestall any derisory propaganda from them,” he added.
Dasuki, who disclosed that he had known the late officer from their time in the Nigerian Defence Academy, said Ali had displayed exemplary traits as a cadet.
“I was not surprised to see him serving the nation with same diligence,” the lawmaker added.
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia PDP) contributing to the debate, lamented that many military personnel have died in the battle against Boko Haram and their families abandoned by military authorities.
“Their wives have a hard time accessing benefits, and are even thrown out of their residences in the barracks,” Onyejeocha said.