A family member of a male corps member, identified simply as Remi, who proposed to a female soldier has said the duo began their friendship three years ago in Abeokuta, Ogun State, before they crossed paths at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp in Kwara State.
The family member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed this in an interview.
A video went viral last week showing a male corps member proposing to a female soldier, identified as Private Sofiyat Akinlabi, at the Kwara NYSC camp in Yikpata, Kwara State.
The soldier was visibly delighted and accepted the young graduate’s proposal to the applause of other corps members at the parade ground.
Although the video generated a largely positive reaction, the Nigerian Army detained the female soldier, saying she violated the Nigerian Army’s rules and regulations guiding the codes of conduct of military personnel when deployed for duty.
But reacting, the family member of the corps member said the duo had been friends for a while but lost each other’s contact.
According to the family member, the duo was surprisingly brought together by fate at the NYSC camp late November.
“They have known each other before they got to camp. They met in Abeokuta over three years ago before she joined the Army but lost contact sometimes ago. Meeting on NYSC camp was like a reunion,” the family member told the Punch.
“They have been friends all along and Remi thought it wise to seize the opportunity of their meeting again to propose to her. He had to walk up to her as a man and not worry about her new status as a soldier because she would eventually get married.”
The family member said the corps member decided to propose to the female soldier, insisting it was a spontaneous event as the woman in question was not aware.
He added that neither the corps member nor the female soldier recorded the event and posted it on soldier media.
The member said: “He got the courage and proposed to her out with a ring which she accepted. The whole thing was totally a surprise to her.
“It happened after the passing out parade on December 14, 2021. She was at the Mammy Market pressing her phone, she was just on her own and she never knew something of such would happen.
“When he walked up to her, she was over joyous and dumbfounded at the same time. She is a lady and her reactions were triggered by emotions. Like men, women are still emotional beings no matter who they are.
“Remi was not holding any phone and did not record the moment. He didn’t post anything on social media and she didn’t also post it on social media. It was the fellow corpers around that did the posting on social media.”
The family source said Remi had been very devastated since the arrest of his lover and begged the military to release Akinlabi.
“We appeal to the Nigerian Army to tamper justice with mercy and release her. She is a woman and she has emotions. We don’t want her to be dismissed; we want her to continue her job in the military,” the source said.
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