The detention of an unnamed female soldier who became romantically involved with a male corps member at the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in Yikpata, Kwara State, was confirmed by the Nigerian Army on Sunday.
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, told Newsmen in an exclusive interview on Sunday that the female officer broke military rules by engaging in a public display of affection with a paramilitary trainee – a corps member.
Video clips of a male corps member proposing to a female soldier at the Kwara NYSC camp went viral a few days ago, eliciting positive responses from a large number of social media users.
The yet-to-be-identified corps member was seen holding a ring as he knelt to ask the female soldier to marry him in one of the video clips apparently recorded on the camp’s parade ground.
The military-dressed spinster accepted the young graduate’s proposal, and the latter proceeded to place the ring on his love interest’s finger. To the cheers of other corps members, the lovebirds later locked themselves in a warm embrace and kissed.
However, the Army spokesman told Newsmen on Sunday that the female soldier had broken the Nigerian Army’s rules and regulations governing military personnel’s codes of conduct while on duty.
Nwachukwu said the female soldier’s actions amounted to exploiting her trainee, noting that if a male soldier proposed to a female corper during the NYSC parade, the public would have been outraged and accused the Army of coercion.
See the Video
He said, “The female soldier in question violated the following rules of the NA:
“1. Fraternization while on official duty at the NYSC camp. That is, indulging in an amorous relationship with a trainee.
“2. A personnel must have served for three years before he/she can qualify for marriage.
“3. She disobeyed the Armed Forces of Nigeria standing guidelines and directives for the use of Social Media.
“4. Indulging in romance while in uniform.
“5. 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.”
The Army spokesman, on the other hand, declined to comment on the likely punishment for the female soldier, saying only that “the Nigerian Military, like all others, has its own disciplinary codes, distinct from those of society.” Every member of the team has agreed to abide by this code on their own volition.”
Omoyele Sowore, who shared photos of military officers proposing to their love interests while in uniform on Facebook, has since called for the female soldier’s release.