The Nigerian Army has denied reports of alleged marginalization of the South-East region in army recruitment, and the alleged dominance of the Northern region in the Force, after it was reported by an online news outlet.
The Nigerian Army in a statement signed and released by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima on Wednesday 31st March 2021, stated that the Army recruitment has always been based on an equal number of 8 candidates from each state of the Federation, except in rare instances where a state did not have the required number of eligible candidates to fill its 8 vacancies. In such instance, the vacancy will be filled by a contiguous state from the same Geopolitical Zone.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to ignore the publication on March 29th 2021, that alleged that the list of successful candidates for Short Service Commission 47 Selection Board Army recruitment which was published on 26 Mar 21 2021, was dominated by the North while the South East had the fewest candidates. “It is pertinent to state that the Nigerian Army strictly complies with the Federal Character policy,” he said.
Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima while breaking down the process of army recruitment, further stated that following the number allocated per state, the South East which is made up of 5 States was entitled to 40 candidates. “However, 2 extra vacancies were allocated to the geopolitical zone thereby making a total 42 candidates instead of 40.
North Central for instance has 7 states (FCT inclusive). Taking 8 candidates from each state in the geo-political zone gives a total of 56 in addition to 2 extra vacancies as was also allocated to the South East gave the total of 58 candidates,” he said.
Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima continued:
“It is therefore quite uncharitable and blatantly divisive for any media organisation to whip up sentiments from such a straight forward exercise conducted by the Nigerian Army in the best interest of the Nation.
The General public including media practitioners are encouraged to always seek clarification from Army Headquarters whenever in doubt on any issue rather than rushing to publish reports that would be defamatory to the image of the Nigerian Army and injurious to Nigeria’s unity.“