The Nigeria Army has dismissed allegations of lopsidedness in its recruitment and enlistment processes, saying that it fully complied with the Federal Character principle in the exercise.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, in a statement on Wednesday, in Abuja, particularly denied allegations of lopsidedness in the recent list of successful candidates for the Short Service Commission course 47.
Yerima said that an online publication had alleged that the list of successful candidates for the SSC Course 47 published on March 26 was dominated by the North, while the South East had the least number of candidates.
According to him, the Nigerian Army strictly complied with the Federal Character policy, by which an equal number of eight candidates were selected 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 allocated eight vacancies.
“In such instance, the vacancy will be filled by a contiguous state from the same Geopolitical Zone.
“Following this number allocated per state, the South East, which is made up of five states, was entitled to 40 candidates. However, two additional vacancies were allocated to the zone, thereby making a total of 42 candidates instead of 40.
“North Central, for instance, has seven states, including the FCT. Taking eight candidates from each state in the geopolitical zone gives a total of 56, in addition to two extra vacancies as was also allocated to the South East, gave the total of 58 candidates,” he said.
“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 advised 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,” Yerima said. (NAN)