Okuama Massacre: Lt Col Ali's Mother Speaks On Tragedy Of Losing Two Soldier Sons

At the residence of the late Lieutenant Colonel A.H Ali, the Commanding Officer of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, who was murdered alongside two majors, one captain and 12 soldiers in Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday, it was sadness everywhere as mourners were seen expressing their feelings.

The officers and soldiers killed by some hoodlums were of the battalion in Bomadi Local Government Area of the state.

When Daily Trust on Sunday visited the family of the slain Lieutenant Colonel Ali, who was their breadwinner, his mother, Hassana Hassan, who sat in the living room of her house, looked lost in thought as she reminisced on similar situations she had faced. She, however, managed to respond to greetings and casually speak a word or two, while pausing at intervals.

She said words would not be enough to describe what she felt as a result of the death of her eldest son.

 “He is one of my favourite children. As the eldest, he didn’t want to see me angry. He had never done anything wrong to me. I know him to be very loyal, easygoing and truthful in his dealings.

“He often asked for permission, just to come and see me and go back to his place of work.

“I don’t know what to do. His death is bitter in my heart, but God knows the best. The last time he came to see me was just two weeks ago. He said he was sorry that he couldn’t secure permission to come and see me until that day. He brought me foodstuff and other things to use for the fasting period and returned back to work.

“When I was in the hospital I requested some money from him to settle the medical bills and he sent it to me. Unfortunately, before we were discharged from the hospital, his brother came and said my attention was needed, that Alhaji Ali wanted to see me. I left to see him and he broke the news to me.

“Honestly, it is devastating because he is now the fourth one I lost. I have nothing to say but God is watching. He was very good to me; I lacked nothing from him. I have nothing to tell them, but God is watching everyone; he will judge on the final day,” she said.

She recalled how his brother, also an officer of the Nigerian Army, was killed by suspected bandits in an ambush in Katsina State some years ago in the course of work.

“His brother, Captain Jamilu Ali Hassan, also paid the supreme price in 2019 in Katsina State. His colleagues told me that they were helpless, so they allowed him to be killed in a manner that no one would wish even his enemy,” she lamented.

She further narrated how her daughter, who was also married to a military man, died alongside her husband and his brother in a car accident during the fasting period some years ago.

“They came here during fasting like this to greet us, but they were involved in an accident on their way back home. She had escaped, but in trying to rescue her husband and his brother, she was caught by the fire and that’s how she also died,” she narrated.

Hassana also said the fourth military man she first lost was her husband, who died peacefully after retirement from active service.

“I don’t know what to do. I am speechless. But if anybody has a hand in this, God is watching and he will judge accordingly,” she added.

๐—ก๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—น๐—น ๐—ท๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† – ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ

At the residence of the late Lieutenant Colonel Ali, his wife and six children were also mourning.

Hauwa, his wife, could only shake her head as tears kept rolling out of her eyes.

Obviously, her mother was the wife of an erstwhile strong military officer.

Flanked by her two boys and a girl, Hauwa told our correspondent amidst tears that she was married to the late lieutenant colonel for 16 years and they had four boys and two girls.

“Words cannot describe him because he was everything to us. He was a man of his words, dedicated to both his family and work.

“Apart from his family, he sacrificed his life for Nigeria, and that’s the price he has paid. I pray that wherever he is God, would continue to be with him.

“His dedication to humanity is one thing I will always remember. No matter how he was, once he was called to work, he would make sure he fulfilled it,” she said.

Asked if she would allow some of her children to join the military in future, she said, “I will not advise any of his children to be in the military. Their father has already sacrificed his life for the country.

“We know that death is inevitable. As Muslim we have to die at some point and time, but I am really shattered by the way my husband was killed. He called me that very day and told me that he was going for a peace mission. I never knew that it was the last time we would speak.

“Nobody could call to tell me the news until Saturday. I was called from the State House.”

Daily Trust


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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