President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is always on the headlines. However, it appears his comments making the headlines at the moment is a bad song on a sad day as Nigerians are not taking the President's statements lightly.
The president, while delivering a keynote address at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London was quoted to have said that most Nigerian youths want everything free without doing anything.
“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” Mr Buhari was quoted as saying by The Cable during a panel appearance with world leaders at the Forum in London.
This comes after the President's comments in February 2016 during an interview with UK Telegraph, where he pleaded with the government of the United Kingdom to cease in granting asylum to Nigerian Youths which according to him "are disposed to criminality". He was fiercely criticized for the comment but it appears the President means what he said.
The country is enraged over the comments with Nigerians voicing their displeasure, even supporters of the President have seemed to run out of excuse in defending the President. You will recall that over a year ago, Buhari had said that his wife, the first lady of Nigeria - Aisha Buhari, had no business in granting interviews to the media because "she belonged to the other room." (interpreted to mean the bedroom)
Nigerians from all works of life have reacted to the President's comments and below are a few of them:
In a statement, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, representing Bayelsa East, who doubles as a seasoned business mogul said the president had delivered 'chains' rather than his campaign promises.
He said, “Instead of finding out why young Nigerian professionals are migrating in droves to countries like Canada, President Buhari calls them lazy.
“The ironic thing is that many of them queued up for hours under hot Savannah sun to vote in a man who promised change but delivered chains!
“There is no way President Buhari, father of the Nigerian nation in every sense of the word, who equally has biological children of his own in the youths age bracket, pass a vote of no confidence on all youths. It can only exist in the imagination of those who play what the President has described as “irresponsible politics” with everything.
“President Buhari has always applauded and celebrated Nigerian youths who excel in different areas of endeavour, from sports, to academia, and other realms. And he will continue to do so, because he values the youths, and knows that they are the fulcrum on which the future of the country rests.
“Indeed, every country has its share of idle population, and it is the bounden duty of government at all levels, to create an enabling environment for them to actualize their potentials.
“It is futile for mischief makers to lie in wait, and take a minor part of the words of the President, and turn it into negative commentary, peradventure they could diminish the profile of the President.
“Nigerians across all walks of life know who is serving them faithfully and truly, and they will always reciprocate such fidelity as occasions demand.”
In the same vain, a political activist and a campaign strategist for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, Debola Williams, has mocked the President over the, “lazy Nigerian youths’” comment.
He wrote on Twitter, “I arrived Cape Town with three other #LazyNigerianYouths whose lazy work caught the attention of one of Africa’s living Legend Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and awarded his prestigious fellowship that focuses on preparing leaders for the continent."
“Buhari has lived off Nigeria his entire life. His son was treated for an accident thousands of Nigeria die from yearly at Nigeria’s expense. Yet, he sits and insults millions of Nigerians who have had the misfortune of not being born into the “right” families. It is sad,” said Biola Kazeem, a sports marketer and political commentator, in a Twitter update Wednesday.
“Serious question – has Buhari, in his adult life, ever been able to live without government income?” Another Twitter user, Feyi Fawehinmi, said Wednesday night, adding that there is little evidence to show that the president’s earns money from his livestock farm in his hometown of Daura.