The Nigerian Army has begun the selection exercise for the Short Service Commission Course 47 and Executive Commission Course 1/2021 candidates at its Training Area Falgore in Kano State.
Addressing the candidates on Thursday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the decision to conduct the exercise in Falgore Forest was to ensure that better candidates were selected for training.
Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Maj.-Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, urged the candidates to be serious with the exercise, saying that only those who meet the criteria would be selected.
He assured them that the selection exercise would be done in a credible and transparent manner, adding that the selection board comprised persons of impeccable character.
The COAS advised the candidates to demonstrate their physical ability to become officers of Nigerian army, adding that emphasis would be placed on both physical fitness and aptitude of the candidates.
He also urged them to shun the idea of being fixed into the system through back doors.
According to him, this will be the best exercise that will set the pace for the subsequent ones.
Buratai also urged the candidates to be ready for deployment to battle fronts in various theatres of operation after their training.
“If you know you are not ready to go and fight the war that we are fighting now like in Maiduguri, Timbuktu triangle and other places, you better leave now.
“Make sure that whatever you do, you put in your best and it is only those who meet that criteria that would be taken.
“We are not supposed to talk to candidates before selection but because we want to get the best, we decided to talk to you.
“If you think that somebody brought your name here to be selected, if you don’t pass the requirements, you will be disappointed.
“Everything here now depends on you because the members of the board are honest men who are very meticulous,” he said.
A federal commissioner of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), retired Maj.-Gen. Suleiman Saheed, said the board would ensure that only qualified candidates would be selected, adding that merit would be considered.
Saheed assured them that the federal character principle would be adhered to in selecting the candidates from all the states of the federation.
He said it was the army that introduced quota system before the government adopted and subsequently established FCC.
According to our reporter, candidates are mandated to undergo different stages of tests, including physical fitness, aptitude and medical.
The physical fitness test will involve five, 10-kilometre and 20-kilometre run while the medical tests include blood pressure measurements, on the spot temperature check, and X-ray checks, among others.
At the end of the selection process, successful candidates for the Short Service will proceed for a mine months training at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna, while those for executive commission moves to Kachia for four months intensive training.