The 69th birthday celebration of Asiwaju of Lagos, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, has come and gone but the waves it carried are much to be ignored. As a smart politician who may be nursing the aspiration to contest under APC at the 2023 Presidential election, he picked Kano rather than Lagos – stronghold, as the theatre of his celebration.
Two statements of Asiwaju Tinubu at the event caused social reactions. According to Sahara Reporters, Tinubu said “he picked Kano to prove that Yoruba and Fulani are one. Tinubu’s comment has sparked angry reactions on social media.” Many are wondering how Tinubu would say that” Yoruba and Fulani are one,” when the reality is the opposite. Cases of the herdsmen and Yoruba farmers’ clashes have become a weekly report. It became so intense at a point that Sunday Igboho allegedly flushed out some Fulani herders dwelling in Yoruba forest – an action which almost caused the rise of separatists movement among some Yoruba people. So Tinubu sounded more like a politician than a man airing out sincere thoughts, and such infuriated some people and generated reactions.
Secondly, Tinubu gaffed in his speech when he suggested to the Federal Government to recruit 50 million unemployed Nigerian youths into the army to help overwhelm and crush the insurgents, bandits, and kidnappers. The total number of active armies worldwide should be around 20million, which means that Tinubu was calling for the Nigerian government to have an armed force that should be more than double the total armies worldwide. Surprisingly, true to the hypocritical nature of some politicians in the event, they applauded Tinubu. Olúyẹmí Fásípè, a Twitter user, was so embarrassed that he noted: “How can we see the video of the clapping people in that hall when Asiwaju of Lagos people asked FG to recruit 50million youths into the army? We need to see their faces.”
Meanwhile, in a press release yesterday after a volley of reactions, Asiwaju Tinubu reversed his statement and said:
“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.
“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.”