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2023 : Kwankwaso promises make room for NYSC members to join military

Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), says he has made provisions in his leadership blueprint for interested members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to join the military.

The presidential candidate disclosed this while speaking of the Kaduna train attack at the Arise presidential town hall.

On March 28, an attack on a train heading to Kaduna from Abuja resulted in killings, injuries, and abductions.

A total of 61 persons were said to have been kidnapped during the attack.

The kidnap victims have been released at intervals, including 11 freed in June, seven in July, and 12 in August.

Asked what his thoughts are about the attack, Kwankwaso cited a shortage of military manpower in Nigeria.

He said part of the framework for his leadership if he is elected is to grow the army to one million from 250,000.

Kwankwaso said provisions will be made for members of the NYSC to join the military and other security agencies.

“As a former minister of defense, I can assure you that [the attack] wouldn’t have been allowed. I’m sure you remember that, recently, we unveiled our blueprint,” the presidential candidates said.

“We made it clear that the number of the military we have today, which is about 250,000, is grossly inadequate. Therefore, we made adequate arrangements to have about one million [in the] military: army, air force, and navy.

“We are going to take over every square metre of our land in this country.

“Police, 230,000 at the moment, we want to make it to about one million. Put together with the SSS, Civil Defence, and other security agencies within a very short period of time, we should be able to be in charge of our land.

“We will be willing to sit down and dialogue with any group that has grudges in any part of the country. In the end, if any decides to act otherwise, the law will take its course.

“We have made provisions to build facilities and military depots to expand existing ones.

“Of course, there is a provision in the blueprint to see that, even in the NYSC which is one way of the continuum, there would be a provision for those interested to join the military and other security agencies.”

The NYSC was set up during the military regime to involve Nigerian graduates in nation-building and development.

In 2021, Shuaibu Ibrahim, the former director-general of the NYSC, said all of the scheme’s corps members are part of Nigeria’s national defense policy of Nigeria and can be mobilised for war if need be.

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