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Human Right Activist, Sowore Signed Petition For The Release Of Female Soldier Who Accepted Corper’s Proposal In NYSC Camp



Nigerian army arrests female soldier who accepted corps member's proposalHuman right activist, Omoyele Sowore and over 10,000 people have signed two petitions calling for justice on behalf of a female soldier, Sofiyat Akinlabi who is under detention for accepting a marriage proposal from a corps member at the National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp in Kwara State.

Activist Deji Adeyanju started the first petition on platform and this petition has attracted over 5,000 signatures as of press time. It was titled, ‘FreeSofiat: Nigerian Army should release detained female Nigerian soldier immediately’.

It read in part, “We’re demanding the immediate release of the young female soldier being held by the Nigerian Army before it sparks national global outrage.

“Furthermore, we condemn the prolonged detention and alleged violation of her human rights by army authorities by denying Sofiyat access to members of her family and refusing to provide her with food, sanitary materials, and medical care. Such gross violation of human right, abuse of power, and excessive use of force is absolutely uncalled for and condemnable.”

The second petition was written by activist Omoyele Sowore and has also attracted over 5,000 signatures. It was titled, ‘#FreeSofiyat: Release female soldier held over marriage proposal in Nigeria’.

It partly read, “It is Christmas time and Sofiat should be with her family and loved ones during the holidays and not held up.

“We are asking the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, to respect her constitutional rights and ensure that she is not stigmatised or dismissed from the military. We further call on the Nigerian military and security forces to review and remove all discriminatory rules against servicewomen in its books with immediate effect!”

It read in part, “We’re demanding the immediate release of the young female soldier being held by the Nigerian Army before it sparks national global outrage. had earlier reported that the Nigerian Army arrested female soldier who accepted corper’s marriage proposal at the Mammy Market at the Yikpata NYSC camp.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, told Punch on December 19, 2021 that Akinlabi violated military laws by getting involved in a public display of amorous relationship with a paramilitary trainee – a corps member, vowing that she will be punished.

Also, the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Shuaibu, at a briefing in Abuja on December 21, 2021, said though the scheme “encourage(s) them to inter-marry, we have never had a situation where a corps member will go and propose (to a soldier)”. He also said that the military won’t joke with its traditions.

Some civil society organizations including the Women Empowerment & Legal Aid had since called on the COAS to respect the decision of the female soldier to marry the male corps member.

The Chairperson of the group, Funmi Falana, in a letter to the COAS on December 20, 2021, demanded the immediate release of the soldier

She argued that no male soldier has been punished for proposing to a love interest in public as seen on social media. She, therefore, declared as illegal, the detention of Akinlabi.

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