By Ahmed Ajikobi
When AbdulAzeez Olobi joined the Nigerian Army sometimes in 2014, he had lofty dreams of rescuing Nigerians in the captive of Boko Haram and restoring peace to communities ravaged by the terrorists group.
The 32-year-old who hails from Olobi Compound, Adabata area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State was also looking to becoming the breadwinner of his family.
However, those dreams and many more were truncated after the gallant soldier and six other colleagues were ambushed in Borno by Boko Haram while on a rescue mission to Benin Republic on July 14, 2018.
AbdulAzeez was said to have sustained bullet wounds and escaped into the bush while four of his colleagues died on the spot and two others escaped the attack.
The body of the younger Olobi was said to have been found in the bush 25 days after the attack by the terrorists group.
The deceased was said to have been promoted to last Corporal in April after he joined forces with his colleagues to secure the release of Dapchi school girls.
Speaking with our reporter yesterday in an emotional laden voice, elder brother of the deceased, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Anofi Olobi described the passing of AbdulAzeez as shocking and difficult to forget for the rest of his life.
According to him, his younger brother got married to his heartthrob, Aminat Mando in Kaduna on April 28 but had only spent little time with the wife due to his commitment to duty.
“Aminat is from Damaturu, Yobe State and daughter of a high ranking officer in the same Barrack my brother stays in Kaduna. The lovebirds came down to Ilorin in February to spend some time with us before their wedding,” he divulged.
Speaking on the death of his brother, Abdulganiyu said, “I received information from Damaturu from one Lt. Col. Muhammed midnight last Sunday asking whether I am Abdulganiyu Olobi, the next of kin to AbdulAzeez Olobi which I responded in the affirmative. He then informed me that my brother had been killed in an attack by Boko Haram on their way to Benin Republic.”
He added that his brother was deployed alongside 29 for the operation in Benin Republic but he alongside six others were in a vehicle that was attacked by the sect on the fateful day.
Abdulganiyu stressed that when he asked to see the remains of his brother, he was told the burial arrangements would be done by the Federal Government.
On his last conversation with the deceased, Abdulganiyu said his brother informed him in July that he was going for an operation and that it would be difficult to contact him due to lack of communication network.
“In fact that week, he was travelling; he had examination at Damaturu which he couldn’t write. He left for his station. A week later, he called to inform me that there is network in the area and that he needed to hear my voice.”
On his unfulfilled dreams, Abdulganiyu, who is a travel agent in Ilorin, said, “After gaining admission at National Opening University of Nigeria (NOUN), Damaturu campus to study Criminology and Security, he declared his intention to apply for short service in order to upgrade himself and to relieve me of some family responsibilities. Unfortunately, my brother was unable to achieve this dream.
“I will miss AbdulAzeez a lot as he was so close to me. I have no one to confide in anymore because he understood me better than anyone. Anytime I’m deep in thoughts, he is always there to comfort me and before I embark on anything, I made sure I consult him first.”
Asked whether he would support any of his siblings or children to join the soldier, Abdulganiyu said, “I will discourage any of my children, siblings or relative from joining the Nigerian Army due to the poor condition of service from the government.”
Meanwhile, father of the departed soldier, Alhaji Hanafi Amao is yet to come to terms with the passing of his son. He is said to have been weeping uncontrollably since the sad news was broken to him on Monday.
The deceased attended Hiwanu Primary school, Kuntu, Government High School Adeta, all in Ilorin. He obtained his National Diploma at Imo University Study Centre in 2013 after which he enlisted in the Nigerian Army in 2014.