Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi, has said at least 200,000 security personnel are needed to “quickly bring the current wave of insecurity to a halt”.
The governor said the recruitment of more personnel into the armed forces is paramount.
Speaking on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, the governor said, “There are two things that we need to address quickly to bring the current wave of insecurity to a halt.”
“We need to have a conversation on how we can recruit a large number of people to join the police and the military, even on a short service or otherwise.
“By available statistics, we need a minimum of 200,000 personnel to boost the fighting power of our men.
“This number is very large and a potential financial and logistic nightmare, yet we cannot delay any further. The ungoverned spaces need to be closed up quickly by motivated men with the singular objective to save the nation.
“That takes us to the number two issue of financing and arming large recruitment.”
Fayemi said a cost-effective and quick way to achieve the recruitment drive is to reform the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and encourage “willing” corps members to join military services.
He said: “With this, we can use the existing orientation camps to train willing and able graduates to reflate the security personnel under a special arrangement that will be worked out.
“That way, the fund that is currently deployed to the NYSC can be used with just some additional funding, which could be sourced through a national emergency fund for the next five to 10 years.
“Those who cannot join the military services can serve in their community without pay if we must still retain the NYSC for everyone.
“To incentivise those who may volunteer to serve, they will have a separate certificate and medal of honour in addition to having priority for military, paramilitary and civil or public service recruitment after service.”
Commenting on divisive comments, the governor called on the political class “to fashion out a new way of communicating their politics beyond the now obnoxious resort to ethnic jingoism, sectarian and divisive rhetoric”.
He said Nigeria needs patriots, not ethnic crisis entrepreneurs “who see everything from the prism of ethnic and religious conspiracy”.
“We also need to encourage investment in the real sectors that can engage people and reduce unemployment, which is a major source of insecurity” he added.
Fayemi, however, said he has confidence the security situation would see a significant improvement and that Nigeria would come out stronger from this moment of national distress.