The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has said the male corps member who proposed to a female soldier in Kwara State contravened the army’s rules and regulation.
Brigiadier-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, NYSC Director-General, said this at a press conference in Abuja.
The decision has, however, largely elicited a backlash as many Nigerians have called on the army to release the soldier and allow her to get married to the man of her choice.
But reacting officially for the first time, Ibrahim, the NYSC DG, said the army has its own regulations like other organisations which should be respected.
According to him, while the NYSC encouraged corps members to seek national unity and integration through inter-tribal marriages, corps members have to respect and abide by the customs and traditions of the military in the pursuit of their interests with members of the armed forces.
He explained that Akinlabi’s case was “unusual” since she is a soldier.
He said: “Every organisation has its own customs and traditions, and we have to abide by such. We, on our part, have spoken to our corps members.
“We encourage them to inter-marry, but we have never had a situation where a corps member will go and propose to a soldier.
“The army has its own tradition and it will not joke with it. So, we always tell our corps members to play by the rules.
“I can assure that the army as an institution is built on its customs and traditions, and anything that will impinge on discipline, it will not take it lightly.”