A female military woman who accepted a marriage proposal while on duty has been arrested because the Nigerian army says her conduct was “prejudicial to good order and military discipline”.
Her troubles started when a video of her surfaced online showing her agreeing to marry a young man who knelt before her with a ring in hand.
The proposal was witnessed by other people who cheered the soldier and her lover on.
But her employer, the Nigerian army has taken a serious view of the event, saying it amounted to “indulging in romance while in uniform”.
According to the BBC, the female soldier had accepted to marry a trainee in the government’s youth training scheme, known as the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
In Nigeria, graduates from universities and other higher-learning institutions get instruction from the army as a mandatory national service.
It was during the training programme in western Kwara state where one of the service personnel put a ring on the finger of the soldier who was supposed to be his trainer.
The couple were hailed by social media users when the video of their proposal ceremony went viral.
However, Army spokesman Gen Clement Nwachukwu the soldier has committed a serious sacrilege that cannot be countenanced.
“Her conduct was prejudicial to good order and military discipline
“[The trainers’] task was to train the youth corps members and not to indulge in amorous relationships with any of them,” Gen Clement Nwachukwu told the BBC.
The punitive action against the soldier has sparked angry reactions from human rights groups and activists.
Women Empowerment and Legal Aid group has accused the Nigerian army of condoning male soldiers who engage in “public display of amorous relationships in full military uniform” without any consequences.
Former Nigerian presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore who is also a human rights activist described the development as “misogynistic”.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Nigerian army would give in to the widespread demand for the release of the arrested soldier.