Nigerian Defence Academy to Commence Training of Female Combatant Cadets
Yochuku Ofoka Yobolisa
15 February 2011
Abuja — PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has directed the military high command to begin, with immediate effect, the enlistment and training of female combatant cadets in the Nigerian Defence Academy.
According to the President this is to pave way for highly competent and skilled female officers of the nation’s armed forces to aspire to the highest echelon of the nation’s military force.
He said that before now openings for female officers in the armed forces had been limited to non-combat duties which had, hitherto, grossly limited women’s career paths in the military irrespective of their talents and skills in professional soldering.
On behalf of the President, Minister of Defence, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode made this known to journalists yesterday at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said that the move is designed to address the lopsided opportunities in the armed forces wherein only male officers of the military forces were given chances to aspire to head any of the military services or even rise to become chief of the defence staff of the country’s defence machinery.
He said, “The Nigerian Armed Forces has always had openings for female officers, But the chances had been limited to non-combat assignments thereby limiting their career paths despite their proven competence and skills.
“Of course, to address this obvious anomaly every Nigerian, irrespective of gender or affiliation, should be given equal opportunity to excel in his or her chosen field of endeavours, as such Mr President has directed the military authorities to immediately begin the enlistment and training of the female regular combatant commission officers”.
Prince Kayode further said that the training of the female regular combatant cadets along with their male counterparts would be done at the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy where female officers would be expected to pass out with requisite degrees in their chosen academic fields and become regular combatant commissioned officers of the nation’s armed forces.
Kayode revealed that, although, the country’s military force has women in highly technical and strategic fields who had been commissioned into various services in the past, the armed forces had never had women as regular combatant officers, adding that it was only officers in the regular combatant cadres that were, hitherto, statutorily accepted to aspire to the highest echelon of the country’s military force.