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General News of Sunday, 26 December 2021


Why Army Chief ordered release of female soldier in love with corps member

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya

In the spirit of the Christmas, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has ordered the release of Private Hannah Sofiat Akinlabi, the female soldier who was detained after a video clip of her being proposed to by a male corps member at the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in Yikpata, Kwara State, went viral on social media.

General Yahaya, who is currently in the Northeast to celebrate the Christmas with officers and men fighting the counter-insurgency war, wants the female soldier to enjoy the Christmas with her family, friends and colleagues.

An online platform reported that the Army Chief in the last few days made overtures to the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces, requesting that the soldier be pardoned even as he maintained that the erring soldier should be strongly reprimanded against engaging in any kind of act that contravenes the military code of conduct for its officers and men.

The military authorities have considered the appeal of the Army Chief and ordered the release of the soldier to enjoy Christmas with her family and friends.

In one of the video clips, some corps members are seen having a discussion at a venue believed to be the parade ground of the orientation camp.

The discussion is still on when the yet-to-be-identified corps member, who is seen holding a ring, goes down on one knee and pops the question to the soldier with the lady accepting the proposal.

The corps member goes on to insert the ring in the finger of the visibly excited soldier amid cheers from others at the scene.

In another clip, the pair are seen sharing lovey-dovey moments. The corps member is seen wearing the lady’s military cap as she stands directly behind him.

They thereafter shared a kiss to the delight of other corps members filming the incident.

There were reports after the incident that the soldier was detained by the army, an action that received wide condemnation on social media.

However, aside public ‘outrage’ over the action of the Nigerian military, it was gathered that the COAS  ‘appeal for mercy’ for the female soldier, may not be unconnected with the fact that the Christmas season presents an opportunity for persons who erred to be given clemency.

A senior officer who does not want to be mentioned in print, said: “The COAS, in his wisdom, believes that the young female soldier will retrace her steps and show remorse for engaging in acts that negates military ethical codes, by the time she is pardoned and forgiven. Hence, he has been appealing for her to be pardoned. This is what he has been doing behind the scene, in the last few days.”

When contacted, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu assured that the soldier would be released on Christmas Day.

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