Former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, has retracted his statement on the recruitment of 50 million youths into the Nigerian Army.

On Monday during his 12th colloquium in Kano State, North-West Nigeria, Tinubu said the nation is ‘under policed and urged the Government to “recruit 50 million youths into the army. What they will eat? Cassava, corn, yam in the afternoon… it is grown here.”

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said the statement was an “accidental verbal mistake.”

Retracting his statement on Tuesday, Tinubu in a press release signed by his spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, said he wanted to say 50 thousand not 50 million.

The statement reads: “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, 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.

“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.