By Tarkaa David, Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, yesterday ordered the immediate release of a female soldier who publicly accepted the proposal of a male member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Kwara State.
The director, army public relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu while confirming this to LEADERSHIP said; “Whatever has happened has happened and the COAS has directed her immediate release.”
The COAS however said the erring soldier be strongly reprimanded against engaging in any act that contravenes the military code of conduct for its officers and men.
Lt Gen Yahaya said the female soldier should be released to enjoy Christmas with her family and friends.
A video of a male corps member proposing to a female soldier at the Yikpata Orientation Camp of the NYSC in Kwara State recently surfaced online and went viral.
In the video clip, some corps members are seen having a discussion at a venue believed to be the parade ground of the orientation camp.
The discussion is still on when the yet-to-be-identified corps member, who is seen holding a ring, goes down on one knee and pops the question to the soldier with the lady accepting the proposal.
The corps member goes on to insert the ring in the finger of the visibly excited soldier amid cheers from others at the scene.
In another clip, the pair are seen sharing lovey moments. The corps member is seen wearing the lady’s military cap as she stands directly behind him.
They thereafter share a kiss to the delight of other corps members filming the incident.
There were reports after the incident that the soldier was detained by the army authorities, an action that received wide condemnation on social media.
Military sources said the soldier had not served the mandatory three years service as stipulated by the Armed Forces Act before marriage.
The COAS however appealed for mercy for the female soldier, which may not be unconnected with the fact that the Christmas season presents an opportunity for persons who erred to be given clemency.
“The COAS, in his wisdom, believes that the young female soldier will retrace her steps and show remorse for engaging in acts that negates military ethical codes, by the time she is pardoned and forgiven. Hence, he has been appealing for her to be pardoned. This is what he has been doing behind the scene, in the last few days,” said a senior military officer who does not want his name in print.