The remains of former Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Chris Alli, has been laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alli, who died at the age of 79 in Lagos on Nov. 19, 2023, was Nigeria’s 15th Chief of Army Staff from 1993 to 1994 under late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.
He later served as the military governor of Plateau from Aug. 1985 to 1986 during the military regime of President lbrahim Babangida, as well as Interim Administrator of Plateau in 2004 under the civilian administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The funeral was attended by National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, who represented President Bola Tinubu, former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, and representative of Plateau Governor.
Also in attendance were serving and former service chiefs and other prominent Nigerians and family members.
The burial was climaxed with the presentation of the National Flag to the next-of-kin of the late COAS, and the laying of wreaths by dignitaries and the deceased’s wife, Mrs Dorothy Alli.
Before the burial, there was a funeral mass at St. Joseph Military Catholic Church, Mambilla Barracks Asokoro, Abuja.
In his remarks at the funeral, Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammed Badaru, said the deceased served Nigeria with dedication and worked for peace, development and unity of the country.
Badaru, represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, added that ”the late former COAS achieved significant influence on professionalising and repositioning the army to be a force to reckon with in both regional and global scenes’’.
He added that the late General lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation.
“For Maj.-Gen. Muhammad Chris Alli, his transition has exerted marvelous memories of a loving father, brother, uncle, colleague, comrade and confidant.
“To many nationwide and overseas, the nostalgia in some social cycles sequel to his recent glorious passing on, underscores his legacy of enviable character, patriotism, love and service to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“We cannot but appreciate the Almighty for the life and the good times of this our cherished hero.
“To this end, we indeed owe him a duty to promote the values that he connected as we pursue national peace, development and unity for our people,” Badaru added.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said the deceased had demonstrated passion and devotion to duty throughout his lifetime, which was characterised by love for country and service to humanity.
According to him, Alli exhibited unrivalled sense of duty and dedication to service, and his love and passion were evident in all he did.
“The late general served the Nigerian army, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the nation exceptionally in various capacities, leaving his foot prints on the sands of time.
“The general mentored and inspired generations who today are mentoring younger generations that did not meet him in service.
“His commitment to duty manifested evidently as he rose through the ranks to become the Director of Military Intelligence amongst several other key appointments in the Nigerian Army, climaxing his military career as the 15th COAS,” he said.
Lagbaja announced that the Nigerian army would reserve a seat for the General with a wreath on it at the next three major activities it will hold, as a mark of honour.
Earlier at the funeral mass, the Acting Director, Chaplain Services (Roman Catholic), Col. Anthony Maimagani, admonished people to live exemplary lives before their death. (NAN)