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Nigerian Military to end Admission of Combatant Female Cadets – Report



Nigerian Military to end Admission of Combatant Female Cadets - BellaNaija

Chief of Defence Staff-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin

The Nigerian Military is set to overhaul a Jonathan-administration policy allowing the admission of female cadets into the combatant course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).

According to Punch, a recommendation made by the Armed Forces Council which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari last week asked that the programme be phased out.

Buhari had also reportedly ratified the “National Defence Policy 2017 (Revised); Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service Officers 2017” last week.

Recommendation 19 of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, which was seen by Punch, read: “Phase out the training of female regular combatant cadets.”

A move that has been described as a setback in the push for gender equality, the phasing out was reportedly lobbied for by unnamed Northern Muslim Elders who do not want a woman to one day lead the army.

A source at the military told Punch: “The northern Muslim leaders want to prevent a situation where one day, a woman will lead the army and give orders to men.”

While the Nigerian Armed Forces has always admitted women, they have always been limited to non-combat duties, limiting their career paths.

The source explained that there are various types of commissions in the Armed Forces – Regular Combatant Commission, Short Service Combatant Commission, Direct Regular Commission, Direct Short Service and Executive Commission.

However, only officers admitted into the Regular Combatant Commission may rise to head any of the services or become Chief of Defense Staff. The source said:

It is only the Regular Combatant Commission that can give an officer the opportunity to aspire to head any of the services or rise to become the Chief of Defence Staff, while the others have limited career path.

If the military is able to scrap this programme, women will never be able to head any of the arms of the Nigerian military.

The northern Muslim leaders want to prevent a situation where one day, a woman will lead the army and give orders to men.

Of the first set of women admitted into the commission, dubbed the Jonathan Queens, only 1 muslim from the North, Fatima Saleh, enlisted.

She had reportedly said, in 2013, that her Arabic school teacher had advised her against enlisting.

The source, general, who spoke to Punch, said those pushing to scrap the programme have convinced President Buhari that women were not doing well. He said:

When we started the training of female cadets in 2011, we never thought it would be successful. When the first set of women cadets graduated from the academy last year, women won three awards, including the best award in the navy category.

A female cadet, C. Lord-Mallam, won the Navy Gold award which is the highest in the navy category. The Army Silver award, which is the second highest in the army, went to a female cadet, K. O Dayo-Karim. The Air Force Silver award was also won by a female cadet, O. S Ijelu.

However, some northern conservatives were not happy about it because most of the female cadets are either Christians from the South and northern minority groups or Muslims from the South and Middle Belt.

Dissatisfied with how things are turning out, the northern Muslim leaders lobbied the military authorities to stop the programme for women.

I was informed that the women were trained just like the men were trained. They were not given any preferential treatment. Two of these female cadets beat their male counterparts to win placement at the United States Military Academy in West Point and they are doing well.

It is unfortunate that while the western world and even other African nations are progressing, Nigeria is going backwards.

While the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, was unreachable for comments on the change of policy, another source at the military said the move, if it came to fruition, would not affect the 2018 NDA admission. He said:

The NDA has already begun receiving applications for the 70th regular course since October 20, 2017. The application, which will run till February 2018, is open to both male and female Nigerians.

So, there is no going back on what the NDA has started. It will be a public disaffection if the military reneges on what it has advertised and we are a professional arm and cannot do that.


  1. Mz Socially Awkward....

    November 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

    This is what happens when you have people who were reared in the 1800s still leading Nigeria.

    And guess which same leaders will open their very useless mouths to claim a Nigerian-born female who becomes able to rise to the same kind of excellence in the U.S. army? Plus – isn’t it the sweetest kind of irony that they always ensure their own children end up being educated in societies which give room for everyone’s dreams to succeed?

    Bloody incompetent (actually, the word I’m probably reaching for is “feeble-minded”) hypocrites.

    • Wale

      November 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      THEY HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS – You now understand when I say the North is our problem in this country. I am beginning to think it is time we all self-determine and each region or groups secede.
      I won’t be surprised this started with one of buratai’s girlfriends; maybe she couldn’t make the cut and they decided to just ku ku end the program. Fucking regressive losers. The whole world is moving forward these idiots we have has leaders are pulling us backwards because of some fanatics we dash power to. If we have a president that doesn’t regard his wife, how do you expect him to regard the advancement of women? Where is the voice of Min. of Women’s affairs – I remember she has joined another team. Crazy cray country. WE have been jazzed ooooo! Our LEADERS HAVE GONE MAD!

    • SA fan

      November 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      I’m a big fan and in tatafoo mode did you ever meet up with Ik?

      Anyhoos sexism is everywhere. Last year I lost a very job good offer ( long annoying details) because my father couldn’t fathom the thought of his daughter really doing well for herself and having the means to challenge him. Society has work to do in raising confident men who can never feel threatened by female authority. Actions just show weak people who need a system of control to feel human. Sad.

    • Engoz

      November 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm


      About ‘women’ ministry. Most of the women who have been appointed ministers of the women ministry so far have been northerners. I’m beginning to think ? this is a strategy to keep women under an agbada chokehold. Their women know this and are pretty much willing accomplices to this system. I mean ‘Put a Mumu figurehead there to do our bidding. Give them crumbs to feed rural women and they’ll be fine.’ I mean how else can we show that the ministry is working?

      The north has a clear, very clear definition of how women should present themselves. We don’t need astronomical science to figure out that the north is anti womanhood.

      As far as I’m concerned that ministry should be scrapped. It is the most useless of all ministries.

  2. Engoz

    November 13, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    No too much talk, other than…
    Buhari has to go! APC must go!
    I have said it before, Nigerian women need to start voting for their interests. Ask yourself the question- how does this policy or party favor me as a woman in the long run? Any woman that votes for APC is a sadist. You must really hate yourself and must be suffering from mental illnesses to bring this contraption of ineptitude back into power.

    Still expecting Femi Adesina or Lai to spin this.
    APC is a disgrace!
    Anti democracy
    Anti women
    Anti female
    Anti progress
    A perfect disgrace to humanity.

    Nigerian women wake up! For goodness sake wake up!

  3. whocares

    November 13, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    this is too shameful to read; i dont know how they dont feel any sense of shame when they make these types of announcement. How can we be regressing in 2017?!!!!? I am disgusted by patriarchal nature of this society and somehow it seems to be getting worse!! how is this a sensible and fair decision? do we not have women in government that could have spoken out against this or at least made so much noise about it or something; anything!!

  4. Ekene

    November 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    If this happens, this administration will be the worst. Any woman who will ever vote for this government again is a very big…

  5. Lailatu

    November 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    The Nigerian story…one step forward, two steps back. Buhari continues to unashamedly expose his islamic fundamentalist mindset. Hopefully, we will be giving him the boot come 2019 and whoever is voted in will reverse this policy.

  6. chi

    November 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Oya the Zoo monkeys and baboons…chant with me “One Nigeria” “Change” ..Oya go!!

  7. Smh

    November 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Where is that imbecile they call John? Come and read this one o. Before you go somewhere else to comment how Nigerian women are lazy etc. come and see it. How Nigerian women are constantly stagnated just to massage the egos of little men.
    This country is such a huge shame. Can you imagine this rubbish? Buhari must go o!!!! This rubbish will not continue

  8. californiabawlar

    November 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    wow! just wow!!
    The problem is even if Buhari has to go, the fact is it will take a long time before another administration remembers to reinstate the program. This is quite sad!

  9. Ephi

    November 13, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    These Northern Muslims again!! Why are they so anti-progress, why? It’s just SO annoying.

  10. LemmeRant

    November 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Well we voted him, 2019 is around the corner.

    When unnamed Muslim men start making national decisions is beyond me. Small time noe someone will say Buhari is old, he deserves respect.

    Yamayama backward people.

  11. Miss Anoni Moss

    November 13, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    One step forward two steps back!!!

  12. D

    November 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    The northern Muslim leaders want to prevent a situation where one day, a woman will lead the army and give orders to men.

    Dear Northern Muslim leaders, go and kill yourselves!

  13. john

    November 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    @smh …what is ur problem…see me see trouble..
    1) Did I vote for buhari=No

    2) Did I follow una shout CHANGE= No

    3) I am like the yorubas that voted for buhari bcos of tribalism = No

    ..ironically , most of the people complaining are the people who voted for him and was shouting change and making noise that buhari is the best thing since slice bread …even women ( who should know better) but na to blame John u fish brains see for me( as someone said the other day) I too have decided to just watch Nigerians suffer in pains and agony while I make the best out of it, Nigerians are not worth pitying until they start using their brains..always justifying rubbish and shifting the goal post..continue insulting John…buhari is going to win again 2019

  14. Seriously

    November 13, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Nigerians, if you truly want change. Take ACTION. It speaks louder than words.

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