I canvassed engagement of 50,000 youths not 50 million into Nigerian armed forces - Tinubu | Ripples Nigeria
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I canvassed engagement of 50,000 youths not 50 million into Nigerian armed forces – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday, clarified the statement credited to him on the recruitment of youths into the country’s security agencies.

The ex-Lagos State governor had reportedly asked the Federal Government to recruit 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army at a colloquium to celebrate his 69th birthday on Monday in Kano.

The statement drew criticism from Nigerians many of whom asked the APC chieftain to withdraw the remark.

However, in a statement issued by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, in Lagos, Tinubu said he sought the expansion of the country’s security personnel by 50,000 and not 50 million as erroneously reported in the media.

The statement read: “Asiwaju Tinubu canvassed 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 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 better security and safety of our people.

READ ALSO: Buhari trumpets Nigerian unity at Tinubu’s Colloquium

“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 50 million youths, 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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