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The Nigerian Army has recalled a large number of its personnel studying in civil institutions (universities and polytechnics) across the country, according to a leaked memo by the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Department of Army Training, Abuja.
In the memo dated May 11, the Nigerian Army also suspended the sponsorship of personnel in civil institutions with the exemption of students in the final year.
“We are in a war situation, but it seems Nigerians are taking things lightly. This is a war situation, and we have less than 200,000 soldiers in a country of around 200 million population. So we are lacking personnel, and as a matter of fact, we have started recruiting,” one of the military sources tells PUNCH Newspaper.
The leaked memo was signed by Brigadier General I. A Ajose on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, and titled, ‘Exemption of Ex Boys (NMS) from Personnel Affected by Directive on Suspension of NA Sponsorship to Civil Institutions.’
The memo was referenced AHQ DA/G7/230/164 and addressed to the Ministry of Defence, Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, and Nigerian Defence Academy.
The other army formations the memo was sent to are: National Defence College, Abuja; Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State; Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Lagos; Defence Intelligence Agency, Abuja; Defence Space Administration; Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria; and the headquarters of the Training and Doctrine Command.
The memo cited three earlier references – A (AHQ DAPP/G5/220/16, dated March 10, 2021); B (AHQ DAT/G7/230/164, dated March 15, 2021); and C (AHQ DAT/G7/230/164, dated April 28, 2021).
“References A-C conveyed directives for the recall of all NA personnel studying in civil institutions as well as the suspension of NA sponsorships, with the exemption of final year students. Consequently, I am directed to respectfully inform you that the directive does not include Ex Boys (NMS). Grateful (sic) treat and acknowledge,” the memo stated.
In one of the recent attacks, more than 30 soldiers were reportedly killed in April when Islamic State-aligned fighters ambushed a military convoy escorting weapons and overran a base in Mainok, Borno State. A month earlier, about 30 soldiers were reportedly killed in four attacks by Islamist militants in the North-East.