Former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday apologized to Nigerians for asking the Federal Government to recruit 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army in a bid to oust insurgents and miscreants threatening the nation’s peace.
In a statement by his media team, Tinubu said he meant 50,000 youths and not 50 million youths, which is about a quarter of Nigeria’s population.
The former governor had at the 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium held in Kano, said the insurgents and bandits were taking advantage of the high unemployment in the country and are recruiting the youths to indulge in their criminal activities.
He also insisted that the country was under-policed, adding that recruiting youths into various national security agencies should not be based solely on educational qualification or literacy.
“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, what they will eat —cassava, corn, yam, will grow here,” he said.
But in a quick reaction to the public condemnation that trailed his remarks, the APC leader said what he canvassed was to engage 5 million youths in all aspects of nation-building, ranging from infrastructural development to agricultural modernization, and recruitment of 50,000 youths into the military.