•Dismisses allegation of favouring North in trainee-officers’ recruitment
By Kingsley Nweze
The Nigerian Army yesterday debunked allegations that candidates from the North dominated the list of those successful for the Short Service Commission 47 Selection Board recruitment.
The Short Service Commission was for the recruitment of graduates of various disciplines to join the officers’ corps of the army.
The army, in a statement yesterday, said it strictly complied with the federal character policy in the recruitment, adding that an equal number of candidates were selected from each state of the federation, except in rare instances.
The Director of the Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, said in the statement that each state got eight slots, while each of the six geographical zones got two slots.
It stated that given the criteria selected to pick the successful candidates for the Short Service Commission 47 Selection Board, whose list was published on March 26, 202, the North couldn’t have dominated the list while the South-east had the fewest candidates.
“Accordingly, 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 eight vacancies. In such an 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 extra vacancies were allocated to the geopolitical zone thereby making a total of 42 candidates instead of 40. The North-central, for instance, has seven states (FCT inclusive). 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.
“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 statement added.
The army urged the public, including journalists, to always seek clarifications from the Army Headquarters whenever in doubt and desist from allegations that would be defamatory to the military and injurious to Nigeria’s unity.