- Nigerian Army has recruited 400 members of the civilian JTF in Borno to help fight the Boko Haram insurgency
- Socio-cultural groups from other regions such as Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have condemned the move
- The groups argued that enlisting people from just one region of the country into the Army violated the federal character principle
The Nigerian Army on Wednesday, November 11, absorbed 400 members of the civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) into its fold to assist in prosecuting the war against Boko Haram terrorists.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state commissioned the 400 men in the presence of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
He said they formed the first batch to be recruited by the Army, adding that other JTF members will be joining the Army soon.
However, while Arewa Consultative Forum commended the Army for the development, other key socio-cultural groups in the country have condemned it, according to a report by The Punch.
Afenifere reacts, says FG sectionalising Army
Reacting through its national publicity secretary, Yinka Odumakin, the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, accused the federal government of regionalising the Army.
Odumakin said just like Borno, other regions in the country are also afflicted with crises. He argued that the crisis in Borno should not be used to justify recruiting people from only one region in the Nigerian Army.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo says the recruitment breaches federal character principle
Also, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said the commissioning of the 400 civilian JTF members in Borno state into the Nigerian Army violated the federal character principle in national appointments.
The president-general, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke through his media aide, Emeka Attamah, condemned the action of the Army, saying it had negative implications.
Middlebelt forum also reacts
The Middle Belt Forum has also faulted the recruitment of the civilian JTF members into the Army.
According to the national president of the forum, Dr Bitrus Porgu, the action of the Nigerian Army negated Nigeria's principle of federalism.
PANDEF reacts, says JTF, vigilante members from other regions should also be recruited
In its own reaction, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) said volunteers and vigilante members in other parts of Nigeria should be commissioned into the Army.
PANDEF's spokesman, Ken Robinson, said this would bring about fairness.
ACF supports the Army's recruitment
The Arewa Consultative Forum said the conscription of the civilian JTF members into the military was normal in a war situation.
The ACF national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said what is done during a war situation should not be compared with what is expected during peacetime.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) on Thursday, November 12, pledged to support the Nigerian Army and the Borno state government in fast-tracking the capture of the 86 terrorists listed on the most wanted list released on Wednesday, November 11.
Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri, the group said it would do anything within its power to assist troops of the Nigerian Army in their bid to capture the fleeing terrorists and their leaders, Abubakar Shekau and Abu Musa Al Barnawi.
Soldiers have killed 92 Boko Haram members in the past week - Major General Enenche | - on Legit TV