Former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu erroneously mentioned the need for the recruitment of 50 million youths into the Army, on Monday, his media aide, Tunde Rahman has said.
This explanation comes on the heels of questions raised by some Nigerians over the 50 million figure quoted by Tinubu during the 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium held in Kano on Monday.
Describing the quoting of 50 million by Tinubu as an “accidental verbal mistake” and “an innocent error”, Rahman, in a statement released on Tuesday, said Tinubu meant to say 50,000.
However, the statement asked that attention be given to the imperativeness of recruiting youths into the Armed Forces to augment the functional capacity of the nation’s security apparatus.
Rahman added that Tinubu, at the event, also advocated for the urgent need for the recruitment of five million youths under a combined employment and national security policy.
Overall, the statement noted that Tinubu’s position was that the creation of more job opportunities for the youth will reduce their inclination towards illegal and dangerous activities.
The statement read: “Asiwaju 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 50million, 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.
“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 modernization.
“He 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 youths 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.”