The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has released an official statement to respond to an allegation that female cadets would no longer be admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
The Nigerian Executive Government under the Goodluck Jonathan administration issued a directive in 2010 to the Defence headquarters to begin the enrolment of female cadets into the regular combatant course training program in NDA and the first set of female cadets were admitted in 2011
A report from a daily newspaper in Nigeria quoted an army general that suggested that the admission of female cadets may come to an end because the Armed Forces Council has recommended that their admission be stopped due to complaints lodged by northern Muslim leaders.
“When we started the training of female cadets in 2011, nobody thought it would be this successful. Last year, the first set of female cadets were commissioned as officers and three of them picked up awards. The Army Silver award, the Airforce Silver award and the Navy Gold award were won by female cadets”
“However, some northern conservatives were not happy about it because most of these female cadets are either Christians from the south and northern minority groups or Muslims from the south and middle belt. Therefore, the northern Muslim leaders have pressured the military authorities to stop the program for women,” the report read
In response to this report, the Director of Defence Information; Major General John Enenche has released a statement to debunk these rumours. He explained that this rumour was propagated to sow discord amongst Nigerians. The full statement reads;
“The attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to a news being spread in the print and online media about the stoppage of training female cadets to be commissioned as regular combatant officers into the Armed Forces of Nigeria”
“this is an act of disinformation to the public by mischievous individuals. The contents of all those publications are ill intended concoctions, not authentic and should therefore be disregarded”
“The provision in the terms and conditions of service for female officers of the Nigerian military is that ‘they are eligible for all the types of commission that can be granted to their male counterpart’ which has not changed.”
“This is for the information of the public and female Nigerians in particular”