ALL Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwabu Bola Tinubu has clarified his proposal on the country’s need to combine its employment and national security policy.
He said his call on the government to recruit 50 million youths into the military was inadvertently made.
The former Lagos governor’s clarification was contained in a statement by Mr. Tunde Rahman of The Tinubu Media Office.
According to the statement, what the APC stalwart meant was an urge to the Federal Government to recruit 50,000 youths into the various national security agencies, including the Police and the Nigerian Army.
It said Tinubu, while calling for more youths to be drafted into the Army in a bid to adequately tackle the nation’s security challenges, made an innocent error.
In his remarks in Kano during the 12th Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium organised to mark his 69th birthday, Tinubu urged the Federal Government to recruit 50 million youths into the Army.
Asiwaju said the recruitment would help restore peace in troubled regions and stop miscreants from recruiting young people to do their bidding.
But the statement by Mr. Rahman clarified that the 50 million figure was a mistake, and that Tinubu intended to recommend the recruitment of 50,000 youths into various national security agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.
It read: “Speaking at the event, Asiwaju Tinubu canvassed the urgent need to combine employment and national security policy by the recruitment of five million youths in all aspects of nation-building, ranging from infrastructural development to agricultural modernisation.
“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.
“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 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.”