Acts Of Valour And Heroism Of Maj. General Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim In Lake Chad Basin
By Olayemi Esan
To some, the national honour symbolizes immense sacrifice, dedication and service. But to me, it signifies profound valour and heroism and is often deeply personal and filled with a myriad of emotions unique to each individual and their experience.
Major General Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim got a pat on the back, in May 2023, the President of the Republic of Chad His Excellency General Mahamat Idris Deby Itno conferred the national honour of the National Order of Chad on him in recognition of his achievements and for his bravery and contribution to peace and security in sub-region especially the Lake Chad Basin countries as a Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in Ndjamena Chad. He was recently decorated by the 23rd Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja at the closing ceremony of the just concluded 2nd and 3rd Quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja.
He is the second Nigerian to receive this National Honour in Chad after Maj. Gen IM Yusuf a one-time FC and Commandant of NDA in 2020. He is equally a proud recipient and was conferred with the honour of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023.
The National Order of Chad is a Proclamation decree signed on 11 May 2023 by the President of Chad and is the preeminent order of merit of the Republic of Chad. It is also featured on the Coat of arms of Chad. The National Order of Chad is the Republic of Chad’s highest military decoration and is awarded to recognize African soldiers who have distinguished themselves by acts of valour.
Major General AK Ibrahim, a member of the 39 Regular Course is truly an exemplary officer of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and a worthy ambassador of the country. He was commissioned into the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army on 19 September 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Science Honours (History) degree from NDA and a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
He is a recipient of numerous honours and awards amongst which are the Distinguished Service Star, Fellow Defence College and the Field Command Medal of Honour. Others are Operation LAFIYA DOLE Multinational Joint Task Force Medals and the Nigerian Army Decisive Command Medal amongst others. General Ibrahim’s appointments and deployments from his early military career developed his sense of responsibility, helped to develop his leadership qualities and provided him with the necessary exposure required for military leadership.
Being a frontline general, Major General Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim redeployed from the MNJTF in April 2023 and on secondment to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), but before then, Gen AK Ibrahim participated in several operations both within and outside the country. Some of these included the Economic Community Monitoring Group in Liberia and the United Nations Missions in Liberia and South Sudan respectively. Others are Operations HARMONY, RESTORE HOPE, YAKI, SHIRIN HARBIN, HARBIN KUNAMA and Ex-EGWU EKE in Bakassi Peninsular, the Niger Delta area, Kaduna/North West and Abia State respectively.
Major General Ibrahim’s achievements as Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force N’djamena Chad were impressive as it was marked by significant accomplishments. He conceptualized, planned and conducted two successful MNJTF Operations, which facilitated the return of IDPs and refugees to their ancestral homes in various areas. His operations saw the neutralization of over 1000 terrorists, captured numerous, induced the surrender of over 10,000 BHTs and their families and rescued about 1000 captives comprising men, women, and children.
He facilitated the resumption of economic, commercial and agricultural activities in Damasak, Cross Kauwa, Kirawa and other communities after over 8 years of closure. Additionally, he restored a stable environment in Mallam Fatori, Kirawa, Baga and Diffa towns in Nigeria and Niger that allowed for the peaceful celebration of Eid-il-Fitr in May and July 2022, the first time in 8 years. He also facilitated the restoration of civil authorities in Kolofata and Amchide in Cameroon as well as Banki, Baga, Malam Fatori, and Kirawa in Nigeria, among others.
Throughout his illustrious career, Major General AK Ibrahim earned his promotions when due and rose to his present rank of Major General through a dint of hard work and dedication on 12 June 2020. He has extensive national and international operational experiences, and always discharged his duties with distinction and commendable performance. Until he was appointed the eighth Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force N’DJAMENA, He had served in various units and formations holding various appointments at command, staff, and instructional levels.
His role in the ongoing war against terrorism and insurgency nationally and across borders is immeasurable, contributing significantly to the decimation of the capabilities of terrorists. He was a Platoon Commander, Intelligence Officer, Adjutant and Operations Officer at NIBATT 17 Economic Community Monitoring Group (222 Bn) and NIBATT 12 UNMIL (11 FER). He also served at the United Nations Missions in South Sudan and Liberia as a Military Observer Team Leader and Dy Sector Comd at the NIGCON Liberia. Gen Ibrahim was also the Garrison Commander of both the 13 Brigade Garrison Calabar and One Division Garrison Kaduna.
He also served as the Chief Instructor (Army Wing) at the NDA, Commander of 14 Brigade Ohafia and General Officer Commanding the 7 Division Nigerian Army. As the General Officer Commanding 7 Division Nigerian Army, He displayed commendable leadership and command attributes and demonstrated an exemplary level of professionalism, diligence, and commitment. He provided the enabling environment and security for the safe return of IDPs and Refugees to their ancestral homes within and around Borno State.
A leader with empathy, discipline, integrity, humility, selflessness, and moral courage, has motivated, inspired, and guided his subordinates towards the accomplishment of their mission. He promotes synergy among MNJTF member countries and with the host country (Chad) where the headquarters is located among other accomplishments. The national Honour given to him is well deserved and should spur him to do exceedingly well in his tasks or assignments at the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Olayemi Esan writes from Abuja, Nigeria and She is the Managing Director of Spye Communications Limited the Owner of SpyeTV. She is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). She can be reached via email@example.com