Recruitment into the Nigerian Army has assumed a new dimension with a record massive enlistment rate in the past few years.
In a bid to understand the rush for enlistment, this medium undertook an analysis of some of the factors responsible for the surge in interest for enrolment into the Nigerian Army.
In a series of interviews conducted, it was observed that part of the reason for the surge in the interest in the Nigerian Army is the reintroduction of professionalism and improved welfare packages for officers and soldiers.
The recently conducted enlistment for recruits into the Nigerian Army buttresses this point. The number of candidates that turned up for screening was massive so much that quite a substantial number was turned back for failing to meet the criteria that by all indication was stringent.
According to some of the interviewed recruits, they stated that enlisting into the Nigerian Army is a thing of pride and a medium to contribute their quota to preserving the country’s territorial integrity.
Adamu Salisu, an indigene of Kebbi State who was amongst those whose application was rejected, stated that he was disqualified because he didn’t have the required educational qualification.
“ I have only two credits in my senior school certificate examinations; the minimum qualification is five credits. I decided to try my luck because I am passionate about Nigeria. I like the way soldiers are fighting the Boko Haram insurgents. My uncle, who is a sergeant in the Nigerian Army encouraged me to apply because he wants me to benefit and contribute to Nigeria.” he said.
He further added that he would ensure that he serves Nigeria with all of his strength if given the opportunity.
“I love Nigeria, and I believe that I have what it takes to be a soldier. The Nigerian Army is the pride of the nation, and I have decided to go back to school and ensure that I get the required number of credits to be eligible to apply next year.”
In the testimony of another candidate, who pleaded anonymity because his family members are not aware of his application into the Nigerian Army stated that the Chief of Army Staff is his mentor with the achievements in office.
“ I have friends in the Army and from what they have been saying is that every soldier adores the Chief of Army Staff because he is the best commander in the history of the Nigerian Army. They have always told me that their welfare has improved since he became Chief of Army Staff. There is also local, and foreign training for soldiers and officers and merit is always rewarded so long you are dedicated and committed to your work.”
This medium consequently carried out an analysis of the Nigerian Army recruitment application in the past four years. It was discovered that in the year 2016, the enlistment was oversubscribed by 45%. In 2017, it was oversubscribed by 65%, 2018, 70% in 2019, by 80% and 2020 by 95%.
This alarming rate of oversubscription cuts across recruits and Short Service and Direct Short Service cadre of the Nigerian Army. The case of Short Service and Direct Short Service was indeed one that presented the most challenges as candidates with master’s degree constituted the bulk of the applicants.