The Nigerian Army has dismissed reports that the North dominated the list of the candidates it selected for its Short Service Commission
It insisted that the selection of successful candidates was done in compliance with Federal Character principles.
A statement on Wednesday in Abuja by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, said: “The attention of the Directorate of Army Public Relations has been drawn to an ill-informed publication of the referenced story on March 29, 2021 by an online newspaper.
“The publication alleged that the list of successful candidates for Short Service Commission 47 Selection Board, which was published on March 26, 2021, was dominated by the North while the Southeast had the fewest candidates. It is pertinent to state that the Nigerian Army strictly complies with the Federal Character policy.
“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 instance, the vacancy will be filled by a contiguous state from the same geopolitical zone.”
It added: “Following this number allocated per state, the Southeast, 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 42 candidates instead of 40. The Northcentral, for instance, has seven states (the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, inclusive). Taking eight candidates from each state in geopolitical zone gives a total of 56, in addition to two extra vacancies, as was also allocated to the Southeast, making a 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 the Army Headquarters whenever they are in doubt about any issue instead of rushing to publish reports that would be defamatory to the image of the Nigerian Army and injurious to Nigeria’s unity.”