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General News of Wednesday, 31 March 2021


Army recruitment: 'I meant 50,000 youths, not 50m' - Tinubu

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The Tinubu Media Office has clarified a proposal by the former Lagos Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the country’s need to combine its employment and national security policy.

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.

The occasion was the 12th Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium to mark his 69th birthday.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader had, while advocating national employment and a security policy that could stem the tides of insurgency, asked the Federal Government to recruit 50 million youths into the Army.

Asiwaju said the recruitment would help restore peace within troubled regions and stop miscreants from recruiting young people to do their bidding.

But a statement signed by Tunde Rahman for the Tinubu Media Office explained that the 50 million figure was a mistake. It said 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 said: “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 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.”

The 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium marking Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s birthday was a well-attended event that focused on the important theme of national cohesion during these challenging times.

This was the first time the colloquium was held in the ancient and important city of Kano.

According to the APC chieftain, the choice of venue was most appropriate given the theme and the underlying objective of highlighting the oneness of the country and the need for unity so that Nigeria may attain its best destiny.

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