It is highly denigrating for President Muhamadu Buhari to have referred to millions of Nigerian youths as being lazy, not educated and only want freebies from the government in front of international media. I don’t care what picture the president was trying to convey, whether to paint Nigeria bad in order to woo foreign investors, or say the truth as it is about Nigeria, maybe he will perhaps, gain the sympathy of some of these foreign investors. Whatever his intentions was at that moment, I believe there is a better way to convey the message.
I remember when Donald Trump was campaigning to become the President of the United States of America some months ago, his popular slogan then was “Let us make America Great Again.” Donald Trump could have had a terrible picture of the state of America at the time he came up with that slogan, but one thing he never did was to stoop so low to desecrate the country in order to win the election. In all his debates throughout that period, he constantly affirm that America henceforth (if he becomes the president) shall come first.
It was the same period Hillary Clinton referred to all those supporting Donald Trump as “Basket of Deplorables.” We remember this particular statement did not go down well with many Americans, even including those who were on Hillary Clinton’s side. My point is this. A leader, irrespective of the situation and circumstances must endeavor to put the people he is a leader over first. The question Mr. President should have asked himself is how many Nigerian youths are really enjoying freebies from the government; whether now or in the time past?
President Muhammadu Buhari did not put Nigerian youths first while making those remarks in the Commonwealth Business Forum. As a leader of a great nation as Nigeria, your people’s interest should come first and then, other things can then follow. Calling Nigerian youths lazy and wanting freebies from the government, the same youths on whose votes you rode to power in the last elections, the same youths that are legitimately carrying out their daily business activities and trying to survive in a business environment that squeeze life out of entrepreneurs, the same youths who go all the way trying to give themselves quality education (since Nigerian government have relegated education to the background) in Europe and America, even when it involves doing odd jobs to pay their way through school. Such a statement from Mr. president is the lowest of low!
Come to think of it, I think President Muhammadu Buhari haven’t read about how Nigerian youths are making waves across the globe in academic excellence and breakthrough researches, he haven’t read about how Nigerian youths are excelling in science and technology, creating business opportunities and providing jobs. The same lazy youths he was referring to are also making waves in entertainments, projecting the image of the country across the globe through music and arts. Has President Muhammadu Buhari seen #WeAreNigerianCreatives, a twitter hash tag that projects work of Nigerian artists (mostly youths) to the rest of the world?
President Muhammadu Buhari should visit major Nigerian cities and see how Nigerian youths are busy on a daily basis trying to meet ends meet. Some of these youthful population would rather choose to do something legitimate that would earn them a living, than go the way of robbery, kidnapping and all the negative vices you have in the society today. Has President Muhammadu Buhari heard about Temitope Ogunsemo, who built a fast-growing educational technology company that specializes in the creation, development and deployment of customized and service oriented software applications for educational institutions in Nigeria? (https://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2018/04/11/meet-the-33-year-old-nigerian-entrepreneur-who-built-a-3-million-edtech-company/#269194fe70d0)
Wait a minute! What freebies was Buhari talking about? Are there social packages for young people in Nigeria? Do young people go to school free? How many Nigerian youths are benefitting from the current Npower program of the APC administration? Has Buhari’s administration provided jobs as promised in his 2014/2015 campaign promises and Nigerian youths have said they are not interested? The insincerity of Buhari before international media and actors is legendary and I think he has just shot his administration in the foot once more. How come President Buhari has mouth to talk whenever he is abroad and then keep mute on issues of importance whenever he is in Nigeria?
If President Buhari had said something like….”We in the government are trying our best to give quality education to our youths and we are also encouraging some to go to school and be productive rather than depend on the government for everything…..blablabla” I think that would have been fair enough. That is even if the youths are depending on the government for their survival. This table that the President just shook has a lot of young Nigerians on it and if the table falls on him, I doubt if he would come out unhurt from under the rubbles. 2019 is around the corner, President Muhammadu Buhari will beckon to the same lazy, uneducated youths for their votes. We will wait for him at the polls. This is the voice of a #LazyNigerianYouth.