The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has promoted Private Illyasu Bala to the rank of Lance Corporal for exceptional courage and gallantry in the war against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Area.
It would be recalled that in the last couple of weeks troops location in Mallam Fatori has been under repeated attacks by Boko Haram Terrorists. However, on each of those occasions, troops have robustly defended their location, counter - attacked and inflicted heavy losses in personnel and equipment on Boko Haram.
The maiden visit of the new Force Commander, Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major General Ibrahim Manu Ibrahim, to troops in the front line, therefore, provided the opportunity to reward the gallant soldier.
Recommending Private Illyasu Bala to the Force Commander for automatic promotion, the Commanding Officer 118 Task Force Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Murtala Aminu said "Private Illyasu Bala who is only 3 years in service has been exemplary, courageous and a source of inspiration to his peers. His gallantry in the face of the enemy has been exceptional". Consequently, on the authority of the Chief of Army Staff, the Force Commander promoted and decorated the soldier to the admiration and applause of the entire battalion.
Speaking during an address to officers and soldiers, Major General Yusuf commended them for their courage and services to their fatherland. "You have made everyone proud and other locations are being urged to emulate the Mallam Fatori spirit", Major General Yusuf added.He emphasized the need for collaboration between Nigerian and Nigerien forces fighting in Bosso - Mallam Fatori axis in order to benefit from the experiences and expertise of each other.
As a morale booster and mark of appreciation for their services and patriotism, the Force Commander decorated commanders, some officers and soldiers with Operation YANCIN TAFKI medal.