The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has ordered the immediate release of a detained female soldier, Private Sofiyat Akinlabi, according to Nigerians on social media.
After 11 days in custody, the COAS ordered that the soldier be pardoned and freed on Saturday.
She was arrested on December 14, 2021, after publicly accepting the marriage proposal of a National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp in Yikpata, Kwara State, youth corper simply identified as Remi.
Many Nigerians and civil society organizations have subsequently appealed for her release, and photographs of male soldiers proposing to their love interests in uniform have flooded social media.
In addition, two petitions demanding for her release on the Change.org platform have gathered over 10,000 signatures.
The corper’s family had also pleaded with the military authorities to pardon Akinlabi, claiming that the two met three years ago in Abeokuta, where they began their relationship.
On Saturday, the COAS ordered the romantic soldier’s release, which appeared to be a Christmas gift to the family and many Nigerians.
Many delighted users took to social media to congratulate the COAS and say that wedding preparations should begin immediately.
A Facebook user, Aliyat Aliyat enthused, “Romantic soldier, let’s start the wedding plans.”
“Now, we can begin the wedding plans,” Itoro Orok backed Aliyat.
Another user, Onomo Oghenekevwe said, “Good news at last! I want (to) buy asoebi and eat rice. The Army must sponsor the wedding.”
“I will provide men in suit,” wrote Obinna Okoro.
“Christmas gift to her family!” Oyedele Adediji stated.