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Why Indigenes of South-East States Shuned Nigerian Army Recruitment, Fail To Meet Quota

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Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Some of the South-East states are unable to fill their quota of admission into the Nigerian Army over fear of ethnic and religious prejudices, inadequate equipment to prosecute assignments and hoarding of vacancies.

The Enugu State government had on Friday also expressed worries over the inability of the state to fill its quota in previous recruitment exercises.

Sundiata Post recalls that the government, while announcing the expected visit of a team from the Army Headquarters to the state, urged Enugu youths to take advantage of the ongoing recruitment exercise to be enrolled into the army.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information, Steve Oruruo, urged those interested to seize the opportunity and register.

The statement reads: “Sequel to the opening of the online application portal for the Nigerian Army (NA) Recruitment Exercise for the 84 Regular Recruits intake, which commenced on October 10, 2022, a team from the Nigeria Army Headquarters is slated to visit the government and people of Enugu State from November 5, 2022.

“The visit is to confer and interact with the political leadership and various stakeholders of our state regarding the observed apathy of the young men and women of our state with regard to the previously conducted recruitment exercises. Unfortunately, this has become an appalling and recurring issue adversely affecting Enugu State’s representation in the Nigerian Army according to the data emanating from the Federal Character Commission.

“Regrettably, during the recruitment exercise for the 82 and 83 Regular intakes, Enugu State contingents were only 73 and 49 people respectively as opposed to the 150 slots reserved for the state on each occasion based on the quota system.

“The consequence of today’s inaction is that in time, our dear state would obviously be unevenly represented when other personnel recruited would have progressed in service. Uninformed observers could erroneously misinterpret this scenario in future as marginalisation and imbalance in the federal character.

“To reverse this retrogressive trend therefore, a team from Army Headquarters is billed to meet with the Government of the State, the leadership of various youth organisations, socio-economic and political stakeholders, traditional rulers, town union presidents and the clergy, in order to forge a way forward to educate and enlighten the teeming youths of the state on the merits and prospects of serving the nation through the Nigerian Army.

“It is in this light that the state government hereby enjoins the good people of the state, especially our vibrant and teeming youths, to seize this golden opportunity to be recruited into the prestigious and resilient Nigerian Army. All interested persons are encouraged to speedily proceed to the Nigerian Army Recruitment Portal to submit their applications.”

It would be recalled that in January this year, a similar situation forced the Nigeria Police to extend its recruitment exercise for another 10 days in the South-East, following the inability of the region to meet its quota.

Out of the 81,005 applications received nationwide as of January 7, 2022, 1,404 applications – less than two per cent of the total applications – were received from the five states in the South East, with Anambra State having the least figure of 158 applicants.

According to Guardian, lamenting the development, the Enugu State governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 general election, Dr. John Nwobodo said: “It may not be unconnected to fear of ethnic and religious prejudices, which might influence the posting of recruits to areas highly vulnerable to insurgency.

“Again, the revelations in the past that Nigerian Army is not adequately equipped in terms of military hardware, arms and ammunition thereby exposing the soldiers to high risk of casualties could be a factor.”

Former Emeritus President General of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, however, blamed the situation on hoarding of information by the authorities concerned.

“It is simply preposterous. Most government officials hoard information about recruitment. Let me challenge the Enugu State government to put up a radio announcement that they want to fill the state’s quota and you will see what will happen. There are so many jobless youths on the streets of the South East, who are looking for what to do. So, they should stop saying those lies. Let them accept my challenge and see what will happen. History will someday expose all these lies against the people,” he said.

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