The Nigerian army has justified the recruitment of more northern applicants into its Short Service Commission 47 Course.
Recall that an online news platform had alleged nepotism in the Army, saying that the South-East states had 42 candidates and the North-Central had 58 candidates in its ongoing 47th short service combatant course 27/2021.
Reacting to the alleged nepotism, the army in a statement on Wednesday by the Director, Army Public Relations, Mohammed Yerima, stressed that each geopolitical zone in the country was given equal representation with eight candidates selected from the comprising states.
According to the statement, the difference in the number came about because North Central has 7 states including the FCT.
The statement said: “It is pertinent to state that the Nigerian Army strictly complies with the Federal Character policy.
“Accordingly, an equal number of 8 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 8 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 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 geopolitical 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.
“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.”