Another senior Nigerian Army officer has been killed by suspected Boko Haram militants, military insiders have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The officer, O. Umusu, a Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer, 118 Task Force Battalion in Borno State, was killed alongside his security details, by an Improvised Explosive Device in an ambush Monday evening.
Military insiders said the officer and his men were returning from Maiduguri to their location towards Baga. The incident happened between Zare and Gudumbali.
One source said the the commanding officer was in the company of the battalion adjutant when the incident occurred.
“His car ran into the unsuspected IED buried on the road,” one source said. “Only the CO (commanding officer) died while being evacuated to Maiduguri for expert management.”
His remains were evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital, our sources said.
This is the fourth lieutenant colonel the army is losing in two months.
The affected officers were Lt. Col K Yusuf (October 16, 2016), Lt. Col Abu Ali (November 4, 2016), Lt. Col B. U. Umar (November 15, 2016) and Lt. Col O. Umusu (12 December 2016).
Another officer, Lt. Col K Yusuf, went missing in action and the army is still searching for him.
The spokesman of Operation Lafiya Dole could not be reached immediately to comment for this story.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have been mourning Mr. Umusu on Facebook.
A childhood friend, Funsho Yusuf, said, “I have known Lt Col Otos Umusu since the age of 11. He has always been a courageous and highly resolute man. We have been good friends for over 25 years. Otos as he is fondly called was responsible for channeling supplies to our troops in the frontlines for a few years.
“He was promoted last year and became a commanding officer of one of the units combating insurgency in North-East Nigeria. I interacted with Otos two nights ago till around 3am on Saturday. I remembered him throwing a jibe at me for not visiting his more volatile location in Madagali during my recent tour of the North East.
“He also raised his observation on the fight against insurgency being intensified in the media rather than on ground. I looked into his eyes with sympathy as I appreciated his selfless sacrifice and those of our other troops who are fighting with limited resources.
“To be honest, I usually pray in my heart we see again whenever I parted ways with anyone serving in North-East Nigeria. I was heartbroken to hear about your passing this morning. You are a hero and should never be forgotten,I pray to God almighty to give your family the fortitude to bear your loss. You shall certainly rest in peace my Colonel.”