Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, OYC, has warned the Nigerian Army against recruiting Igbo youths to fight Boko Haram in the Northeast.
This was contained in a statement signed by OYC President-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, and Secretary-General, Okwu Nnabuike.
The group was reacting to a recent recruitment exercise pronounced by the army’s Director of Recruitment Resettlement and Reserves, Brig-Gen Emmanuel Akpan.
It was reported that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, through Brig. Gen. Akpan, on Wednesday, said the army will embark on the recruitment of Nigerian youths to enable it to fight insurgency in the Northeast.
OYC said that if the Army was only recruiting Nigerian youths for the purpose of fighting the Boko Haram insurgents, such recruitment should be reserved only for Northern youths as Igbo youths were not comfortable with such.
The Igbo youth organization said it is suspicious of such “obnoxious recruitment” in the South East, rather than in the North – the epicenter of the insurgency or South West.
According to OYC, “such recruitment is a death verdict for any intending youth waiting to be recruited solely to fight insurgents in Northeast insurgents, insisting that Operations Shege Ka Fassa, the Civilian JTF, the repented Boko Haram insurgents, Meyatti Allah and Arewa youths should be instead, recruited massively to fight the insurgents.”
The organization advised Igbo youths to be engaged in community policing or regional arrangements, adding that “there are various recruitment exercises going on in various states in the South East regards to engaging youths to tackle insecurity challenges in the South East.”
OYC warned Igbo youths not to ignorantly or under pressure, sacrifice their lives for the North East, adding that “Igbo youths will never be used as sacrificial lambs for the North East as Nigeria is descending into regional security directions.”