The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has lauded the Federal Government’s plan to reinstate 10,000 retired soldiers to boost the strength of the army in the fight against insurgency.
The Forum however sounded a note of warning to President Goodluck Jonathan and his military Chiefs not to draft ex-Niger-Delta militants in the reinstatement process.
ACF gave the warning in a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim and made available to the media.
“ACF want all concerned authority to scrutinize all retired soldiers thoroughly and reinstate only qualified persons who are members of Nigeria military regular and combatant forces.
“It has been brought to the knowledge of Arewa Consultative Forum that the Federal Government has authorized the reinstatement of 10,000 retired soldiers back into the Nigeria Army. This in the wisdom of government is to boost the strength of the military to confront the insurgency that has engulfed the country.
“ACF welcomes this development, however, it wishes to caution the authorities responsible for the reinstatement to scrutinize the retired soldiers thoroughly and ensure that only persons qualified in accordance with military regulations are recalled.
“Furthermore, the issue of Federal character must be reflected in the selection process to ensure fair representation of all sections of the country. ACF therefore urges the authorities to display transparency and honesty in the reinstatement exercise.
“ACF particularly advises that those who have never been in the military and therefore, cannot be re-instated or recalled should be precluded from the exercise, as on no account should ex-militants, who, after receiving formal training as part of Amnesty granted by late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua’s benevolence, be considered to benefit from the exercise. They are not qualified for either reinstatement or recall from the reserve list”, the statement read.