Brig.- Gen. Emmanuel Akpan, the Director, Directorate of Army Recruitment ,Resettlement and Reserve, on Friday said that the Nigerian Army was no longer a dumping ground for drop-outs.
Akpan alongside his team mates who visited the Lagos State Government said that the vision of the Chief of Army Staff ( COAS) was to have a better Army that can stand the test of time.
He said that the essence of the campaign the Nigerian Srmy had currently embarked on was to sensitise Nigerians that the Nigerian Army would no longer recruit those considered as never-do-well in the society.
“The campaign is an avenue to convey the vision of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) that the current Nigerian Army is no longer the Nigerian Army considered as a place for dumb heads, never- do-well in life or dropouts.
“That so much has changed under the watch of the COAS.
“It is to enlighten the public that what he envisages for the Nigerian Army is an Army where every soldier will be able to think and fight and also fight and think.
“Where every personnel will have that capacity to be able to think critically, be very creative and then rationalise situation with or without supervision and without any fuse,” he said.
He said that the new recruits into the Nigerian Army would undergo special forces training in order to ascertain their mental fitness and endurance level.
Akpan said that it was part of the efforts by the COAS to reform the Nigerian Army.
“The essence of the tour is sequel to the COAS directive as contained in his strategic directive for 2020 where he directed that a special forces’ concept should be integrated in all Nigerian Army training.
“And that every Nigerian Army personnel, both serving and those we hope to recruit into the system, must undergo special forces training.
“And we all know what special forces training stands for and the kind of training that they give,”he said.
He also said that the COAS was keen on ensuring that everyone was given the opportunity to join the Nigerian Army.
“We want to further inform the public that the COAS is very keen that every Nigerian is given the opportunity to enlist in the Nigerian Army under his watch.
“The interactive sessions across the states have been very revealing, we interacted with cross sections of youth leaders from Lagos.
“It was very revealing, we have taken note of all their concerns and we intend to convey the message to the appropriate authority,” Akpan said.
He said that the essence of the special forces training was to also ensure that every personnel could adapt to situations and functions.
“The essence of the training is to ensure that every personnel both serving and those we intend to recruit can adapt and function seamlessly in any operating environment, be it the regular, hybrid or conventional environment.
“We are also aware that the training is highly rugged, highly demanding, and it also demands men and women who are not only medically fit but mentally robust to be able to undertake the training.
“That is the main reason why the COAS in his very informed wisdom directed that we tour the various states of the federation to update our brothers and sisters willing to enlisti into the Army, what to expect.
He further said that the team had taken the campaign to the South East, South South and presently in Lagos State which is under the South-West
“We started from the South-East states; from Enugu , we covered Imo State, Ebonyi, Abia. We went for the second leg: the South-South which covers Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa.
“And we are commencing the South-West phase of the sensitisation campaign by starting in Lagos State,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that youth leaders in the State were present at the sensitisation campaign.
The Lagos State Governor, represented by Mrs Kemi Durotimi-Etti, the Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office said there would not be a strong nation without its military.
She said that the Nigerian Army was always bringing out creative ways to take the force to the next level in order to better serve the nation’s citizens.
She also commended the Nigerian Army for its selfless service to ensuring that the country was safe.
The team also visited the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Nigeria Army ,Maj.- Gen. Olubunmi Irefin.
The GOC, represented by Brig.- Gen. N.J, Edet, the Chief of Staff, said that the division looked forward on leveraging on the experience and information gotten to conduct any recruitment.
He said that he believed that with such campaign, the doubts of the public would be cleared and also help them know what to expect when applying for job openings in the Nigerian Army.
He also said that he envisaged a Nigeria Army that would be better, that would be able to stand the challenges of time with such an initiative. (NAN)