The Nigerian Army has started engaging Rivers youth planning to enlist in the army to boost its internal security operations in the country, an official said.
Brig.-Gen. Emmanuel Akpan, Director, Directorate of Army Recruitment, Resettlement and Reserve (DARRR), said this to newsmen on Saturday in Port Harcourt shortly after meeting with various youth leaders in Rivers.
Newsmen report the sensitisation forum was part of a nationwide campaign to inform Nigerians on the new recruitment and training policy by the army.
According to Akpan, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has made it mandatory for the inclusion of Special Forces training for all recruits.
“So, we are in Rivers state as part of a nationwide tour at the instance of the COAS Strategic Directive 2020 that would take us to every state in the federation.
“The tour is aimed to appraise the youth on the current approach of the Nigerian Army to the training of its personnel to serving as well as recruitment into the system.
“The essence of the special forces training is to ensure that all army personnel can adapt and function efficiently in any operating environment.
The director said the army had also met with the youth in South Eastern states of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states to inform them of the new strategy.
“So, we have just commenced the exercise for the South-South zone starting from Akwa Ibom and now in River state. It has been tremendous so far.
“We solicit the support of government in the area of information dissemination, support for state recruitment office as well as seek support of successful indigenes in future recruitment process,” he appealed.
A cross section of youth leaders in their numbers representing their various communities in the 23 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state lauded the army for the sensitisation exercise.
Ikechukwu Nwodu, Youth President of Ubimiri community in Emohua LGA, said the meeting was timely as it addressed the negative perception some youth in the community had about army recruitment.
“We are happy that the army decided to come to the grassroots to engage us on its recruitment. This has not happened before,” he added.
On his part, the National Council Coordinator in Ulakwo, Etche LGA, Promise Onyekam, said that lack of information was partly responsible for low enlistment of his people into the army.
“So, from what we have learnt so far, we will communicate same to people at our various communities and local government areas,” he noted.