Army not recruiting Nigerian youths for fighting Boko Haram ― Recruitment director

Director, Army Recruitment, Resettlement and Reserve, Brigadier General Emmanuel Akpan, on Monday, said the set-to-begin Army recruitment exercise was not solely aimed at recruiting personnel to fight insurgency in the North East of the country.

He, however, noted that the Army’s recruitment was based on the need to fill some gaps.

Akpan stated this at State Secretariat, Ibadan, during sensitization of youths of Oyo state as part of a nationwide enlightenment campaign tour on the planned recruitment of Special Forces into the Nigerian Army.

He explained that the recruitment under Special Forces concept was targeted at having a Nigerian Army where every soldier is able to think and fight critically, be creative and take rational decisions in tackling problems with little or no supervision.

He, however, noted that by their training, the soldiers were always expected to tackle threats to internal security, including counter-insurgency operation in the North-Eastern part of the country.

While noting that only persons mentally, physically and medically fit will be engaged, Akpan pointed out that the female gender usually was allocated five per cent in the recruitment done in states of the country.

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“The Nigerian Army, like every other organization, recruits personnel. Some are retired and when they are retired and there is a need to fill that gap.

“The Nigerian Army can organise recruitment to fill such gaps. It is not that we are recruiting to go and fight Boko Haram.

“The constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) has delineated roles and responsibilities for the Nigerian Army and when duty calls, we have to respond, whether to fight in the counter-insurgency operation of the North East of Nigeria or any other internal security operation.

“The fact that we are here preparing the minds of our youths of what to expect is not in any way suggestive that there is a vacuum in terms of personnel in the Nigerian Army.

“The special forces concept is a highly demanding training that requires men who must not only be physically and medically fit but also mentally robust.

“The Nigerian Army is no longer the organization considered for dropouts, dumb heads. The Chief of Army Staff envisioned an Army where every soldier is able to think and fight, think critically, be creative, take rational decisions with or without any supervision or problem whatsoever.

“Every citizen has the opportunity to enrol into the Nigerian Army and five per cent of any recruitment done in the states is given to the female gender,” Akpan said.

On quota system in the recruitment, Akpan said all states will be given the same quota which will be at liberty to share among their various local government areas.

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