Isaac Tobi, the elder brother of Lawrence Tobi, a soldier who was killed by Boko Haram terrorists, said he advised him against joining the Nigerian Army.
SaharaReporters gathered that Lawrence was among the soldiers killed last Friday when the insurgents engaged the Nigerian military in a four-hour battle to take control of Dikwa community in Borno State.
The attack happened a few hours after Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai handed over to Major General Ibrahim Attahiru as the Chief of Army Staff.
The gun battle started around 6:00 pm and lasted till around 10:00 pm. It claimed many casualties, including Lawrence's.
A soldier who had just got married, Abdullahi Bhuwa Usman, was also killed during the attack.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, Isaac said he told the deceased to join the Nigeria Police Force but he declined, insisting on joining the army.
He said, “Tobi Lawrence was my only brother. My mother had five children, three girls and two boys. I am the first child while Tobi Lawrence was the last born of my mother. In 2015, he told me he wanted to join the Nigerian Army but I told him to join the Nigeria Police Force instead.
“He came back to me and said he didn't want to join the police and insisted on being a soldier. So, I had no option but to support him. We started the journey (to get him to become a solider) but he couldn’t make it because he was not shortlisted.
“So, the following year, that is 2016, he told me we should still continue with the race for him to be enlisted as a soldier. So we started consulting, we spoke to someone named Fidelix at Ogida Barracks in Benin. It was the man that actually helped us, he made my late brother to get enlisted into the Nigerian Army.
“Last week, my brother called me that they were going to the forest, that they were told to carry some things along to meet those who were already inside the forest. Usually when they go in the morning, they return late in the evening.
“The day he was killed, he called me in the morning to say they were on their way. So in the evening, I waited for him to call me but he didn’t. I became worried because he had promised to call me in the evening. I tried his number several times, it did not connect. The next day which was a Saturday, I started calling him but it was the same thing. Then someone called me with a strange number and asked if I was Tobi Isaac, I said yes. Then he told me what happened. I asked him how and he told me it was Boko Haram attack.
“I miss him very well, he used to help me. Once I call him and say my brother, I don’t have any cash, he would send money to me. He was so helpful to me financially.”
In the past months, Boko Haram insurgents have targeted soldiers, mostly waiting in ambush for them.
The Boko Haram insurgency has caused over 40,000 deaths and displaced millions of individuals mainly in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The terror group wants an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria.
On January 22, 2021, the group ambushed and fired machine guns at a Nigerian army patrol in Borno State, killing seven soldiers and injuring others. Also, an ATV and ammunition were stolen by the gunmen.
The attack occurred barely five days after the gunmen activated seven IEDs against a Nigerian Army convoy of Armoured Personnel Carriers and other vehicles, escorted by a foot patrol in Gorgi, Borno State.
According to military sources, over 30 soldiers were killed during the ambush.
The gunmen also destroyed three vehicles, including an armoured one.