The Nigerian Army says it is punishing a female soldier who got engaged in an Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for flouting its rules and code of conduct.
Army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a response to an enquiry by PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.
A video of a male corps member proposing to a female soldier at the Yikpata Orientation Camp of the NYSC in Kwara State recently surfaced online and went viral.
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 share a kiss to the delight of other corps members filming the incident.
There were reports after the incident that the soldier had been detained by the Army, an action that has since received wide condemnation on social media.
In his reaction, Mr Nwachukwu said it is an act of indiscipline for a trainer to engage in an affair with her trainee.
He described the act as fraternisation in military terms.
He further said it is an act of gross misconduct for a personnel to engage in romance while in uniform.
“The Nigerian Army has Codes of conduct, Rules and regulations guiding our personnel whenever and wherever they are deployed for duty.
“We have ethics, customs and traditions, which have the force of law and are enforceable as such. These are meant to guide service personnel and better position them to efficiently execute the critical, onerous and consistently hazardous profession of the arms.
“The female soldier in question violated the following rules of the NA. Firstly, fraternization while on official duty at the NYSC camp. That is, indulging in amorous relationship with a trainee.
“Secondly, a personnel must have served for three years, before he/she can qualify for marriage.
“Thirdly, she disobeyed the Armed Forces of Nigeria standing guidelines and directives for the use of Social Media.
“Fourthly, indulging in romance while in uniform, and fifthly, her conduct was prejudicial to good order and military discipline. All the above, if proven are in violation of extant laws with attendant disciplinary and penal implications.
“As a personnel, her task was to train the youth corps members and not to indulge in amorous relationship with any of them,” he said.
Mr Nwachukwu said the public perception would have been different if a male soldier had proposed to a female trainee, adding that it (public) would have seen it as taking advantage.
“These rules were put in place for the purpose of proper administration and discipline in the Army. If I may ask, what if the soldier was a male? How would the public have perceived his action? Definitely, it would have been perceived as taking advantage of a female corper, a trainee, put in his care for training.
“The same applies here. The Nigerian military like all others, has its disciplinary codes, distinct from that of the general society. Every personnel has voluntarily undertaken to be bound by this code,” he added.
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