Army Loses Former Head Of Counter-insurgency Operations In Road Accident

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SAN FRANCISCO, March 08, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Army has confirmed the death of Major General Yusha’u Mahmood Abubakar, Former Head of the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East (Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole), who died in a car accident along Maiduguri/Damaturu highway on Tuesday.

A statement by the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said the accident, which occurred Tuesday, also involved the acting General Officer Commanding 3 Division, MSA Aliyu, who sustained injuries.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to inform the public of the involvement of its Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Major General Yusha'u Mahmood Abubakar and the Acting General Officer Commanding 3 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General MSA Aliyu in a road traffic accident along Maiduguri-Damaturu road today,” the statement read.

“Sadly, we lost Major General Yusha'u Abubakar as a result of the incident, while Brigadier General Aliyu sustained some injuries and is receiving treatment.”

Reports indicate that the injured GOC and his driver were brought to the emergency ward of the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital accompanied by heavy military security before they were conveyed back to Maiduguri to be flown to Abuja for proper medical attention.

According to a military source, the late General traveled by flight from Abuja to Maiduguri International Airport and subsequently traveled by road with the intention of going to Buni Yadi, Yobe State for the graduation of a special military force.

He was received at the Airport by the GOC 3 Div Nigeria Army Brig General Mohammed Sani Aliyu where they embarked on the ill-fated journey to Damaturu.

It was learnt that they were involved in the accident around Benishiekh town, a distance of about 70 kilometres from Maiduguri.

Speaking on the incident, the Yobe Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, expressed shock over the death of the former theatre commander, describing it as a shock and a loss to the military and the nation in general.

“Our country as a whole, the people and government of Yobe State are in grief with the family and the Army. We pray that Allah grants him paradise.”

“Our hearts are heavy with the family of the late General and the Nigeria Army. This is not just a loss to the family and the Army but to the nation.”

Abubakar, appointed head of Operation Lafiya Dole in August 2015, was the pioneer Commander with headquarters in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the hotbed of Boko Haram insurgency. He was deployed about three months ago from the Theatre.

He handed over to Hassan Umoru on January 4, 2016 before honouring his deployment to the army headquarters, Abuja, where he headed the training and operations department.

The death of the general is coming two days after James Ocholi, Minister of State for Labour, his wife and son died in a car crash on the Abuja-Kaduna road.

Story by David Oputah