Civil rights group alleges bias in Nigerian Air Force recruitment

- A civil rights group, Campaign Against Military Impunity (CAMI), alleges that chief of air staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, favoured northerners in the recruitment exercise for non-commissioned officers - The group calls on the government to carry out an audit of the courses going on in all the training institutions to rectify the misnomer - However, air force spokesperson, Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, describes the allegation as mere speculation A civil rights group, Campaign Against Military Impunity (CAMI), has alleged that there is a recruitment scandal in the Nigerian Air Force which has led to 80 per cent of slots being allocated to northerners. 
The group’s executive director, Victor Coker, told journalists in Abuja on Monday, June 26, that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, had favoured northerners in the recruitment exercise for non-commissioned officers. Coker called on the government to carry out an audit of the courses going on in all the training institutions to rectify the misnomer, Daily Post reports. The group said: “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. “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.” However, air force spokesperson, Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, described the allegation as mere speculation. Adesanya urged the group to wait for the list of the people recruited to be made public first before making any complain. He said: “If there is any state that is not fairly represented, then, let them raise the alarm, rather than be 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.” NAIJ.com recalls that the State Security Service (SSS) was embroidered in a recruitment scandal with most of the new recruits coming from the north while a few from the rest of the country. A check on the new recruits showed a wide disparity between those from the north and those from other parts of the country. The number of slots allocated to northern states was higher compared to their southern counterpart which indicated that the federal character rule might have been flouted. 

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