The Nigerian Army has denied insinuations that it is embarking on massive recruitment of Nigerian youths to fight Boko Haram, among other insurgents in the country.

The Director, Army Recruitment, Resettlement and Reserve, Brigadier-General Emmanuel Akpan, made the clarification on Monday during a sensitisation of youths of Oyo State as part of a nationwide enlightenment campaign tour on the planned recruitment of Special Forces into the Nigerian Army.

Akpan said that the tour was on the instruction of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, that a Special Forces Unit be integrated into all Nigerian Army training. He stated that the Army would spare no effort in sensitising the youths in Oyo State in its recruitment drive for the Special Forces Unit.

“The planned and soon-to-begin Army recruitment exercise is not solely aimed at recruiting personnel to fight insurgency in the North East of the country but based on the need to fill some gaps and openings, which may arise as a result of retirement of officers, in the system” Akpan said.

“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 added.

Akpan said the Nigerian Army, is no longer the organization considered for dropouts and dumb heads, hence the vision of an Army where the soldiers, by virtue of their training, would be able to tackle threats to internal security, including counter-insurgency operation in the North East and any other part of the country.

“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”, he said.

Female gender recruitment

Akpan said that the female gender would be allocated five percent in the recruitment, as is usually done in states of the country. Also only persons that are mentally, physically and medically fit would be engaged.

Criteria for recruitment

The director said every citizen has the opportunity to enroll into the Nigerian Army, and 4 Credit Passes in ‘O’ Level, including Mathematics and English Language, are required for the new recruits who should be between the ages of 18 and 22.

Also, all states would be given the same quota and would be at liberty to share the quota among their various local government areas.

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