Since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009, Brig-Gen. Dzarma Zirkusu, is the most senior officer to die in the line of duty.
Zirkusu alongside some other soldiers died in an ambush laid by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter group of the Boko Haram sect, on Saturday.
- Brig General gunned down as ISWAP fighters ambush troops in Borno
- Three officers killed as ISWAP ambushes military convoy in Yobe
Many colonels, lieutenant colonels and majors, who normally lead troops for operations, have lost their lives in the line of duty but Zirkusu was the first fallen general.
Some officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces especially those in the North East described the demise of General Zirkusu as a monumental loss to the military establishment and Nigeria at large.
“This is a black Saturday. I am devastated; I am deeply pained. Brigadier General Zirkusu was a patriotic Nigerian who fought for its liberation,” a colonel said.
“He was true a general because he led by example,” another officer, a lieutenant colonel, said.
Residents of Chibok, which was his last place of posting, said he was a devout Nigerian who gave his all to his chosen career.
The general, who was from Adamawa State, was in January this year moved from Headquarters 1 Brigade, Gusau, to headquarters 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, as Commander.