Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has put an end to the admission of female cadets into the combatant course of the Nigerian Defence Academy, hereby dashing the hopes of female aspiring military leaders.
This new development came up after the National Defence Policy 2017 was revised.
It will be recalled that a set of 20 females, nicknamed Jonathan Queens, were first admitted into the course in Nigeria’s premier military officer training institution during the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2011.
Benconews.com gathered that the recommendation to end the programme was made by the Armed Forces Council which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
It read, “Phase out the training of female regular combatant cadets.”
A serving general in the Nigerian Army while speaking with PUNCH said that the military took the decision due to complaints from some unnamed northern Muslim leaders.
In 2010, the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, had ordered the military to allow females interested in becoming combatant officers of the Nigerian armed forces to be admitted into the NDA for the first time ever.
The then Minister of Defence, Adetokunbo Kayode, had said other countries in Africa were “already doing it and they are not better than us.”
However, a military source said the revised harmonised structure, if it saw the light of the day at all, would not affect the NDA admission for 2018.
“The NDA has already begun receiving applications for the 70th regular course since October 20, 2017. The application, which will run till February 2018, is open to both male and female Nigerians.
However, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, failed to comment on the revised harmonised terms and conditions on Sunday.
The Director of Information, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, did not pick his calls, and a text message sent to his line had yet to be replied to as of press time.