Kaduna youths were denied Nigerian Army enlistment on ethnic grounds – Group alleges

Published 

on January 6, 2024

By Amos Tauna

The Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) youth wing has appealed to the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff to investigate what it described as a distressing video featuring four youths seeking enlistment in the Nigerian Army.

The youths also appealed to the Kaduna state government to establish a committee to thoroughly examine the matter, with the aim of preventing any recurrence.

A statement issued by the SOKAPU National Youth Leader, John Isaac, said, “It is with great concern that the Southern Kaduna Youths have observed a distressing video featuring four youths originally from Kaduna State, currently residing in Lagos.

“These individuals, earnestly seeking enlistment in the Nigerian Army, faced unwarranted humiliation, denial, and even arrest during the state screening process as of the time of composing this statement.”

The statement explained that the reasons as portrayed in the video, revolves around their inability to speak the Yoruba language and their non-citizenship status in Lagos.

According to the statement, “It is imperative to emphasize that the constitution clearly defines Nigerian citizenship, and the Nigerian Military outlines specific requirements and eligibility criteria for enlistment, none of which pertains to linguistic or tribal considerations, such as the ability to speak Yoruba.”

The statement observed that “the Kaduna State government boasts of a significant number of Yoruba individuals in its civil service, some holding esteemed political appointments, tracing their origin to the South West”, stressing that “this serves as a testament to Kaduna State’s inclusive and liberal stance, actively contributing to the unity of the Nigerian project”.

It said, “In light of these events, we respectfully urge the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff to promptly and urgently investigate this matter.

“We appeal for the immediate release of these young men and their fair participation in the enlistment exercise, aligning with the principles afforded to every Nigerian citizen, as the unity of our nation transcends ethnic considerations.

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