The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described his comment that 50 million youths should be employed into the Army as “an accidental verbal mistake”.
There have been reactions to Tinubu’s comment on the mass recruitment into the army as a result of the rising insecurity.
He spoke at the 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium to mark his 69th birthday in Kano.
But in a statement on Tuesday, Tunde Rahman, his media aide, clarified that Tinubu “seeks the expansion of security personnel by 50,000 for the armed forces not the 50 million that was mentioned in error.”
“It was an accidental verbal mistake of which we all commit from time to time especially when reciting a series of large numerical figures.
“He did not mean N50 million, which is almost a quarter of our total population. The crucial matter is that Asiwaju rightly observed that such strong recruitment would serve the twin-purpose of helping to tackle unemployment while at the same time enhancing the security of every Nigerian.
“Please forgive any confusion due to this innocent error. The most vital thing is that he set forth a wise and timely approach that would help us face two of today’s stiffest challenges. It is in the spirit that we hope you view and assess his proposal for it seeks to provide a way for more youths to participate in building a greater, safer and more prosperous country.”
The statement further quoted Tinubu as canvassing the urgent need to combine employment and national security policy by the recruitment of 5 million youths in all aspects of nation-building, ranging from infrastructural development to agricultural modernization.
“He believes that the more job opportunities are presented to our youth the less some of them will be tempted into illegal and dangerous activities.
“As part of this overall approach, he believes that eligible youth should be recruited into the armed forces, police and other security agencies to augment the functional capacity of our security apparatus thus ensuring the better security and safety of our people,” the statement added.