The family of a youth corps member, who proposed to a female soldier, Private Sofiyat Akinlabi, has revealed that the duo started their friendship three years ago in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The corper proposed to Akinlabi a female at the National Youth Service Corps orientation camp in Yikpata, Kwara State recently.
Video clips showing the corps member proposing to the female soldier elicited reactions from many social media users.
One of the video clips recorded on the camp’s parade ground showed the corps member holding a ring as he knelt to ask the female soldier to marry him.
A family member revealed that the corps member named Remi and Akinlabi’s friendship started in Abeokuta over three years ago before the latter joined the military.
The source said the duo had lost each other’s contact but was surprisingly brought together by fate at the NYSC camp last month.
“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.
“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.
“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 dumfounded 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.
“He can’t explain his love for her because they so connected emotionally when they met again and he believes it is true love,” the source said.
The Nigerian Army had detained Akinlabi on December 14, 2021 when the lovebirds shared a hug and kiss to the delight of other corpers at the camp in Kwara.
Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said Akinlabi’s action amounted to taking advantage of her trainee, noting that the public would have been outraged and accused the army of coercion had a male soldier proposed to a female corper during NYSC parade.
He said, “The female soldier in question violated the following rules of the NA: fraternisation while on official duty at the NYSC camp. That is, indulging in an amorous relationship with a trainee. Personnel must have served for three years before he/she can qualify for marriage.”