By Bankole Wright
The civil rights organisation, Campaign Against Military Impunity (CAMI), has expressed concern over alleged recruitment scandal in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
The group alleged that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, had compromised standards in the recruitment exercise for non-commissioned officers from the North.
Executive Director of CAMI, Victor Coker, told newsmen in Abuja yesterday, that the government should carry out an audit of the exercise and courses going on in all the military training institutions.
“Presently at the Airforce Base in Kaduna, there is ongoing pre-training formalities and tests for successful recruits, where 80 per cent of them are Northerners,” CAMI said.
“To unravel this misnomer, there should be an audit of the courses going on in all the training institutions. The audit should look at the composition and last three batches of those in training.
“They were supposed to take 68 persons in each state; but after the normal recruitment, the Chief of Air Staff now brought over 2,000 names spread across the core Northern States.
“Out of this figure, only 30/40 was given to the South. This is not the first time it is happening. Such things have been done in DSS, EFCC, and even police, Army and the Navy.
“We keep on preaching One Nigeria, One Nigeria. But behind the empty slogan of One Nigeria lies bare-faced hypocrisy and grand design to sentence part of the country to perpetual slavery.”
According to him, Northerners have been so smart to shortchange the entire South even during previous population census exercises conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC),
“How can the desert be more populated than the tropical rain forest? This was how the population census was done before independence,” he queried.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, has since denied the allegation.
He said, “I think it is most advisable that the list of the people recruited should be made public first. Then, those making the claims can painstakingly go through the list.
“If there is any state that is not fairly represented, then, let them raise the alarm, rather than speculating. A list is not yet out, yet people are speculating that the North has been favoured.
“Don’t forget that each state should be fairly represented. If you have certified people and everybody in a state are not medically qualified, are you going to disregard everybody in that state?
“We operate with the highest standards and we do not compromise on standard, either medical, physical or academic.”