A civil rights organisation, Campaign Against Military Impunity, CAMI, has accused the North of shortchanging the South through an alleged recruitment scandal in the Nigerian Air Force. The group alleged that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar favoured the core North in the recent recruitment exercise for non-commissioned officers for the Air Force by giving it 80% quota. He is from that part of Nigeria.
The Executive Director of CAMI, Victor Coker, stated this on Monday in Abuja while he chatted with the press. He demanded that the government should carry out a probe of the exercise and courses going on in all the military training institutions.
“To unravel this misnomer, there should be an audit of the courses going on in all the training institutions. The audit should look at the composition and last three batches of those in training.
“Out of this figure, only 30/40 was given to the South. This is not the first time it is happening. Such things have been done in DSS, EFCC, and even police, Army and the Navy.”
Mr. Coker also accused the North of being hypocritical about One Nigeria, accusing it of pursuing a secret agenda aimed at perpetually enslaving the rest of Nigerians.
“We keep on preaching One Nigeria, One Nigeria. But behind the empty slogan of One Nigeria lies bare-faced hypocrisy and grand design to sentence part of the country to perpetual slavery.”
He also said that Northerners have been very smart in shortchanging the entire South even during previous population census exercises conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC),
“How can the desert be more populated than the tropical rain forest? This was how the population census was done before independence”, he asked.
However, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya has denied the allegation.
“I think it is most advisable that the list of the people recruited should be made public first. Then, those making the claims can painstakingly go through the list.
“If there is any state that is not fairly represented, then, let them raise the alarm, rather than be speculating. A list is not yet out, yet people are speculating that the North has been favoured.
“Don’t forget that each state should be fairly represented. If you have certified people and everybody in a state are not medically qualified, are you going to disregard everybody in that state?
“We operate with the highest standards and we do not compromise on standard, either medical, physical or academic,” Mr. Adesanya said.
Recall that in April the Department of State Services, DSS, was also enmeshed in a recruitment scandal, whereby it was alleged that Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Daura was favoured. It got a whopping 51 cadets – more than all the South East states combined.