‘Outstanding Soldier’

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General Abdurrahman .jpg

The Government of Liberia (GOL) last Friday paid respect to the fallen Nigerian General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman, former Commanding Officer-In-Charge (COIC) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), who died on January 28 after a brief illness in New York while undergoing medical treatment.
The Nigerian General served the AFL from June 2007 to February 2014 at which time he was instrumental in the formation of a new disciplined AFL, which subsequently produced a Liberian Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn.
The well-attended memorial service by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) served as a sign of appreciation and respect to the late General Abdurrahman for the work he did for the AFL. The GoL invited his family from Nigeria to attend the Memorial Service where several institutions were in attendance and also paid tributes to the fallen African soldier.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as head of the government and partners were also present at the Memorial Service held at the Monrovia City Hall.
President Sirleaf who is also the Commander-in-Chief (C-I-C) of the AFL, while paying a tribute to the late Abdurrahman, told the families of the late soldier that it was with heavy hearts that Liberians gathered to pay homage to a great friend; stressing that the country remembers him for the quality of leadership and regimentation he imbued in personnel of the AFL.
C-I-C Sirelaf described the late General Abdurrahman as an exemplary officer of Nigeria and acknowledged that he will be missed for his enriched military experience, exceptional leadership and unmatched commitment he brought in the discharge of his time-consuming assignment.
She emphasized that this won him the respect of the Government and people of Liberia as well as the Chief of Defense Staff of the sub-regional organization, ECOWAS, at the same time bringing honor to his country, Nigeria; adding, “He was a dedicated public servant, an outstanding soldier.
President Sirleaf expressed the hope and prayed that the wife of the late General Abdurrahman, Haja Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman and his beloved children will find solace in the collective prayers of all. They were all present at the occasion of Friday in Monrovia.
Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai recalled that, “As a military man, he was very hard working, prepared, always willing and ready to teach his colleagues and always told us that the best self-esteem that you can give a soldier is adequate training, which at his turning over last February to the newly promoted Chief of Staff (COS) of the AFL, Gen. Abdurrahman said he was happy to have helped the new Army, and has no doubt that, as a ‘force for good’, it can carry out its duties well.”
Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia, Chigozie F. Obi-Nnadozie, indicated that the late Gen. Abdurrahman’s services to Liberia as the COIC of the AFL was one that made her proud as her country’s Ambassador to Liberia.
She thanked the Liberian Government and people for the opportunity and support given the late general and his family.
In special remarks of appreciation, the widow of the late Gen. Abdurrahman, Haja Fatima Wali-Abdurrahman, thanked President Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia, Defense Minister Brown Samukai, AFL Chief of Staff Ziankahn for the massive support her husband received when he served as AFL COIC.
She also thanked them for organizing the memorial service in her husband’s honor, saying, “we will forever remember this event as we live on with our grief and Liberia will continue to be my second home,” she noted.
She stressed that the family considers Liberia as their second home and expressed joy that her husband could contribute to the country’s recovery through his service to the AFL at the time his service was most needed.
The late Abdurrahman assumed command of the AFL in June 2007, succeeding fellow Nigerian, the late Lieutenant/General Luka Yusuf, who also died shortly after leaving his post as COIC of the AFL.
Several personalities and institutions including the Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); Chief of Defense Staff of the Nigerian Army; Ministry of National Defense led by Minister Brownie J. Samukai; Armed Forces of Liberia led by the Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Daniel Zeahnkan; Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan; River Gee Senator Conmany Wesseh; and Montserrado County Representative Munah Pelham Youngblood as well as politician Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, among others, paid tributes to the fallen Nigerian solider.

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