From Fred Itua, Abuja
Members of the Senate Committee on Army, yesterday, clashed over alleged lopsidedness in recent recruitments carried out by the Nigerian Army.
Trouble started over the alleged lopsided recruitment during an interactive session committee members had with the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, Major General S. O. Olabanji.
A member of the committee who doubles as Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba, during the session took up Major General Olabanji on alleged lopsided nature of recruitment carried out by the Army recently.
However, acting Chairman of the Committee, Abba Moro, who presided over the session, ruled Danbaba out of order, saying “this meeting is not for such enquiry.”
Apparently irked by the development , another member of the Committee, Barinada Mpigi, raised the issue again , saying “lopsidedness in recruitment is not an issue to be put aside or rule against.”
But Moro again ruled against the enquiry, insisting that the session was not for review of recruitment made by the Army but on tactical Training and Doctrine of men and officers.
“The questions being raised by my colleagues on alleged lopsided recruitments , are being thrown to the wrong person . The Chief of Army Staff, Lt – Gen Farouk Yahaya is the one who can do justice to such allegation or enquiry.”
Angered by the insistence of Moro that questions on recruitment should be entertained at the Session, Senators Danbaba and Mpigi stormed out of the meeting in anger.
Expressing his anger to newsmen on what transpired at the session, Danbaba said he walked out from the meeting with Mpigi based on dictatorial actions of Moro.He shouldn’t have ruled us out of order since the Military man the question was directed to , did not complain.
“The issue of marginalisation in recruitment has never been responded to, it is part of the oversight process of the committee to ensure that whatever is to be done should be done to ensure Justice, the Nigerian army like any institution of government in Nigeria is supposed to comply with provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and that constitution has made it very clear that the issue of federal character and representation is paramount is a constitutional issue.
“I’m not blaming the army, the army has been performing very well, but at the same time the issue of recruitment is very very important.”