This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Sunday, October 23, 2016
REVIEW RECRUITMENTS AND PROMOTIONS IN NIGERIAN SECURITY AGENCIES
24th October, 2016,
REVIEW RECRUITMENTS AND PROMOTIONS IN NIGERIAN SECURITY
message on army recruitments into the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, in
2013 has recently gone viral on social media. The figures listed particularly
for states with Muslim majority populations reveal shocking lopsidedness in the
recruitments. Focus is being zeroed on an advertisement of list of successful
candidates in the 65th Regular intake (course 65) recruited into the
NDA which was allegedly published in the Daily Trust Newspaper
of Friday August 23, 2013.
The list showed that more
Christians were picked in Muslim majority states in the North. For example,
only five Muslims were picked in Borno State as against eight Christians. Only
four Muslims were picked in Gombe as against ten Christians while only three
Muslims were picked in Kaduna State as against eleven Christians.
Rights Concern (MURIC) considers these figures as lopsided, discriminatory and
provocative. The exercise appears to have been heavily tainted with religious
bias calculated to edge out Nigerian Muslims from military formations in the
country. It gives undue military advantage to Christians thereby endangering
the lives and properties of Muslims nationwide. We frown upon recruitment
exercises which fail to recognize the diversity of the Nigerian people.
is an elitist military institution whose graduates control the military. It
will be dangerous for us as a nation if such an institution consistently
produces a core of officers whose religious belief tilts towards any particular
are constrained to ask if there is a plot to build purely anti-Muslim security
agencies in Nigeria. What is happening around the world elicits such a
question. The police and army watched unconcerned as Muslims were killed while
their houses were burned in Myammar and in Central African Republic. Is the
Nigerian Army being prepared for such a pogrom? Are Nigerian Muslims safe?
Nigeria, the extrajudicial killing of members of Boko Haram and the use of
extreme force transformed the hitherto nonviolent group into the terror machine
we have today. We also have the example of military heavy-handedness in the
massacre of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (otherwise known as
Shiites) about a year ago.
may however want to look at a larger picture. We are looking beyond the army. Could
there have been a correlation between the attacks on Muslim groups and the
predominance of non-Muslims in the army, the police and other security agencies?
There seems to be a thick anti-Muslim sentiment among members of the Nigerian
security agencies thereby turning Muslims into endangered species even in their
own countries. We fear that this sentiment is being fuelled daily by lopsided
recruitments into the army, the police and other security agencies. This trend,
if found to be true, constitutes serious threat to national security.
therefore calls for an investigation into recruitments into the security
agencies at least in the last five years. We appeal to the relevant committees
in the National Assembly to quickly rise to this important aspect of its
oversight responsibility. Democracies cannot afford to be protected by religious
or ethnic bigots. Only a balanced and well structured security system can guaranty
peace and security.
addition, we urge the security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army, to
urgently embark on a general review of promotion exercises and retirement cases
in the last five years. Both serving and retired officers and men who believe
they have been unjustly denied promotion or unduly retired should be encouraged
to submit memoranda.
In conclusion, we concede
that ideally, recruitment into the security agencies and promotion from one
level to another should be strictly on merit. Neither ethnicity nor faith
should be barometers. Yet no geopolitical zone, tribe or religion should be
completely marginalized to the extent of creating fears of possible extinction.
This is the spirit behind Section
14(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)