Tunde Rahman, spokesman for All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu, has said the comment made by his principal that the Federal Government should recruit 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army was an error.
It had been earlier reported that Tinubu made the statement in Kano on Monday during a colloquium to celebrate his 69th birthday.
However, in a statement on Tuesday, Rahman said the former Lagos State governor “seeks the expansion of security personnel by 50,000 for the armed forces and not the 50 million that was mentioned in error”.
The statement further 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 the better security and safety of our people.
“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.”