Tinubu clarifies call on FG to recruit 50m youths into the army


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National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has clarified his call on the Federal Government to recruit 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army to combat the menace of insurgency, banditry and related criminal acts.

He made the call on Monday in Kano at the 12th Colloquium organised to celebrate his 69th birthday.

“We are under-policed and we are competing with armed robbers and bandits to recruit from the youths who are unemployed —33 per cent unemployed?”

“Recruit 50 million youths into the army,” he stated.

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However, in a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, on Tuesday, the former Lagos governor said he meant to say five million, and not 50 million, youths should be recruited.

He further explained that the five million youths should be recruited into the police, army and other security agencies.

The statement read, “He (Tinubu) believes that the more job opportunities are presented to our youths, 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.

“Asiwaju seeks the expansion of security personnel by 50,000 for the armed forces, not the N50 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 50 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.”

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