- A Christian group has condemned the unfounded allegations of lopsided recruitment, postings, appointments and retirements of military personnel by the Military
- The group said the assertion of premature retirement of Christian officers is misleading
- According to the group, the 'malicious' report is capable of puncturing the harmonious workings of the security agencies
The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria (YCFN) has described as unfounded allegations of lopsided recruitment, postings, appointments and retirements of military personnel by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
Nigerians were taken aback last week when malicious reports spread across the media about the military's alleged favouritism for a particular religion and region.
A statement by Onyeama Nwachukwu, acting director defence Information, had debunked reports that over 200 officers from a particular geo-political zone and religion, in the first quarter 2019, were retired prematurely.
After thorough fact-finding through its members in the Federal Character Commission, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force and other related authorities, the YCFN backed the Armed Forces’ stands.
In a report signed by its YCFN president Reverend Nathaniel Ochimana but represented at the press conference by vice president, Bright Sunday, the group said the assertion of premature retirement of Christian officers and lopsided recruitment of northern Muslims, postings, and appointments are utterly misleading.
Sunday said the group was taken aback by the claims that some Christian officers were silently retired from the Armed Forces and replaced by Muslims by the leadership of the Armed Forces led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin.
He said that in order not to leave any stone unturned, the YCFN investigated the claims with a view to ascertaining the correctness of the news making the rounds in the public domain.”
"Upon completion of investigations, however, the group discovered that there was never a time in the history of the Armed Forces that promotions and retirements were based on ethnic or religious factors," Sunday said.
He said findings gathered from the Federal Character Commission indicates that no such infraction was recorded in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin
He also noted that findings from personnel from the Army, Navy, and Airforce showed that the claims of mass retirement of Christians officers and the recruitment and lopsided posting of Muslim officers to replace them was false.
Similarly, Sunday said findings from the National Human Rights Commission also indicates that the commission is not in receipt of any petition on religious and ethnic discrimination in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said the group through its findings further concluded that the allegations were concocted, and a deliberate falsehood aimed at sowing the seed of bitterness in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
"The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria believes that the news is highly misleading and capable of puncturing the harmonious working.
"The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria also wishes to state that the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not an ethnic or religious organization and hence it should not be associated with the promotion of ethnic or religious agenda.
“The Young Christians Forum of Nigeria also wishes to remind the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that they are indeed patriots and never give in to the cheap blackmail been bandied around by detractors," Sunday noted.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Defence Headquarters on Tuesday, May 7, denied report that the Nigerian military secretly retired over 200 Christian officer from the force.
DHQ in a statement said the Military is dismayed over a mischievous and systematic campaign of calumny against the government through spurious and unfounded allegations.
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