Stop Commercializing Military Recruitment—Huriwa Charges COAS

Condemns Extortion Of Sure-P Applicants By Officials

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A pro-Democracy Non-Governmental Organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has appealed to the Chief of Army Staff General Kenneth Minimah to abolish the auctioning of recruitment and entry level forms into the Nigerian Army and to devise better crime free and efficient recruitment mechanism devoid of profiteering.

The Group has also called on President Good luck Jonathan to probe the widespread allegation of extortion by government officials of Nigerian young applicants for the Federal Government's task force [FERCSARA] created under the SURE-P/FERMA programme. HURIWA said it has it on good authority that applicants were made to cough out N50, 000 each to secure these unavailable job openings which they are yet to be offered since November 2013. The Rights group asked the Nigerian Government to arrest and prosecute these erring and criminally minded government officials who have being collecting the said sum of money from these young job seeking Nigerian youth numbering over 10, 000 Nigerians.

On the sale of entry level forms into the Nigerian Army by the military authority, the group said it was wrong to place emphasis on money making in such a sacred national security exercise even as it raised alarm that members of the dreaded armed Islamic insurgency may use the opportunity to gain recruitment into the Nigerian military with the clandestine mandate to scuttle the ongoing anti-terror and counter-insurgency activities of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

HURIWA was reacting to the ongoing recruitment exercise into the Nigerian Army in which the military hierarchy in Abuja placed commercial advertisements in some mainstream print and electronic media of mass communication inviting prospective recruits into the nation's military to proceed to specifically designated banks in major cities and towns of the Federation to pick up the recruitment forms each of which goes for N1, 000. The group said it is illegal and unconstitutional to mortgage national security at the alter of profiteering and self centered commercial interest.

In a media release authorized jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Ms. Zainab Yusuf, the Rights group said the practice of auctioning recruitment forms to all manner of persons in the guise of seeking to rake in profits for both the banks and some top officials in the Nigerian Military smacks of the total disregard for patriotism and therefore is a grave threat to national security interest of Nigeria as a Sovereign entity.

Besides, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria [HURIWA] expressed worry that the commercialization rather than professionalization of the Nigerian military could provide avenue for terror masterminds to purchase the military recruitment forms in huge quantities to be distributed to their foot soldiers who may be planted as moles in the Nigerian Army even as the military authority over the years have failed to put effective mechanisms in place to sift criminal elements from the genuine and credible prospective recruits willing to enlist in the Nigerian Army.

HURIWA has therefore called for the introduction of professionally excellent recruitment module that complies substantially to global best practices and for the Nigerian authority to capture the biometric data of all potential recruits into the Nigerian Military so as to determine their crime record and to ensure that foreign mercenary are not offered unimpeded access into the Nigerian Military.