The Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on Wednesday said the army will soon embark in recruitment of Nigerian youths into the force to enable it fight insurgency in the north east of the country.
Buratai, who was represented by Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Akpan, the Director Directorate of Army Recruitment, Resettlement and Reserve, DARRR, made this known during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi at the exco-Chambers Government House, Abakaliki.
According to him:
“The normal army that was trained to engage particularly in conventional warfare are having a lot of problems as you can see in the North-Eastern region. So, recently the Chief of Army instituted Special Forces concept; a special skill that you can use to fight war.
“This special training will now be integrated in every training in the Nigerian Army. So, this means that anybody that is recruited in the Nigerian Army with effect from now, will have to go through that process.
It is a tough training, it requires a lot of physical and mental fitness. So, we need young men and women who are physically fit”, he noted.
He noted that those from the age of 16 and above would be employed in the Nigerian Army with four credits including English and Mathematics in not more than two sittings, urged the youths of Ebonyi state to massively apply for recruitment into the Army when its portal opens for recruitments which he said will soon commence.
In a swift reaction, the Governor Chief David Umahi, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, decried shortchanging of the people of the state in the recruitment of the Nigerian Army.
He alleged that people from other parts of the country usually take up the identity of Ebonyi people and take all the state quota in any army recruitment.
“Before our ascension into office, what had obtained in the south east particularly in Ebonyi state is that people have been shortchanged in the army. They will pull out enmass for recruitment and after they had returned home jubilating that they are going to be recruited in the army that the report on them is favorable for their engagement in the military.
“The story will be that only two or three of them are engaged and when you go to look at the list, you will discover that men from other region will answer Ebonyi state name, take up the identity of our people and take the quota that is meant and reserved
for Ebonyi state.
“We are not happy with such unpleasant situations and I believed that our governor has complained severally about it. We think that having men like you and the Chief of Army Staff will resolve such intractable problem that we have been having in Ebonyi State”, he said.