The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has reacted to the detention of Sofiyat Akinlabi for accepting a corps member’s marriage proposal.

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The army had earlier said the soldier was detained for violating the military’s rules of engagement.

The army’s explanation has since continued to elicit a wave of backlash among Nigerians.

Speaking at a briefing in Abuja, Shuaibu Ibrahim, NYSC director-general (DG), said the army has its own regulations like other organisations which should be respected.

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Ibrahim also said while the NYSC encourages corps members to inter-marry to promote national integration, Akinlabi’s case was “unusual” since she is a soldier.

He added that corps members were constantly told to abide by the army’s rules which it doesn’t “take lightly.

“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,” he said.

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“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.”

Several Nigerians have earlier signed a petition calling on the army to release the solider from detention.

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