Despite clarification by the military that such plan does not exist, the House of Representatives has urged the military to halt a reported plan to stop the admission of female cadets into the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA.
The lawmakers, while defending their position said the military should rather increase the number of female cadets admitted as records show that they excelled more than their male counterparts.
This call was made via a motion sponsored by Omosede Igbinedion (Edo – PDP) and adopted by the entire house.
She cited Section 42(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which prohibits discriminatory practices against any person on the basis of sex.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the Beijing Declaration of 1995 and the follow up summit on strengthening the Institutional Arrangements for Support of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, which also coincided with Agenda 113 of the 7th session of the United Nations General Assembly of 2012”, the lawmaker argued.
Mrs. Igbinedion noted that that affirmative action means positive steps be taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education and areas from which they have historically been excluded.
There was a report of a recommendation to end the programme by the Armed Forces Council which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
However, in a statement, the director of defence information, John Enenche, denied such report saying female applicants are eligible for all the types of commission granted to their male counterparts.
But in an advertorial, the NDA said it has suspended enlistment of female cadets to its regular combatant program.
The first set of 20 females to be admitted into the course in Nigeria’s premier military officer training institution was during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2011.
The house has mandated its committee on Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force to investigate the matter and report back in four (4) weeks for further legislative action.