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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu has walked back on his statement that the Federal Government should recruit 50 million people into the military to tackle banditry.
Speaking in a viral video from his 69th birthday colloquium on Monday, Tinubu advised that recruiting 50 million Nigerians is the solution to curb insecurity and bad economy.
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, adding that “what they will eat —cassava, corn, yam, will grow here.”
The suggestion of the former Lagos State Governor came under a lot of criticism. However, reacting to the backlash, Tinubu retracted his statement and admitted he made a mistake.
Speaking through his media aide, Tunde Rahman, in a statement on Tuesday, Tinubu said he meant 5 million officers.
“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.”
“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.