… Ex-VP, Atiku, Fayose also react
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti; Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Some Nigerian youths have replied President Muhammadu Buhari; that they are not lazy, contrary to his Wednesday comments that they “do nothing” and want everything for “free” because the country has oil.
Buhari, who earlier declared he would seek re-election in 2019, made the remark at a business conference in London, on Wednesday.
“A lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming, you know, that Nigeria has been an oil-producing country. Therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, health care, education, free.. A lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming, you know, that Nigeria has been an oil producing country therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, health care, education, free,” said Buhari.
First to fire a salvo at the president was the North West Zonal Coordinator of the Sule Lamido for President 2019 Campaign Organisation, Sani Liti, yesterday.
Liti told newsmen in Kaduna, that Buhari’s statement was indication that the “he has no development plan for the youths who constitute the larger number of the country’s population.”
Some youths also took on the president on Twitter.
Jack Robinson (@jackdre02) said one “Kate Ogechukwu, a Second Class Upper graduate of History and International Relations, from Ebonyi State University, decided to go into charcoal selling to make ends meet, due to lack of jobs,” while Sola Adio (@solaadio) recounted how “one of my female followers in her mid-20s told me she is a carpenter. She manufactures and delivers furniture to homes and offices. She has her own workshop with employees.”
The Àdùké (@Dammielawlar) was succinct in her reply to the president: “I hold a Masters degree in Geography but I sell amala and co for a living just because…”
Arise Stanley disclosed how he works “eight hours in the day, only to come back to my Art Studio and work for another five hours in the night. I am a Nigerian youth and I am not lazy.”
Jessica Clark (@clarksimi) gave a little history in a tweet.
“B.sc in Mass Communication. A Social Media Manager. Customer Care Officer. A business woman. I don’t make up to 100k monthly! It is not easy but, we are strong youths.”
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is also running for president in 2019, said he would “never refer to Nigeria’s youths as people who sit and do nothing,” in a statement posted on Facebook. He added that youths are the “backbone” of the country.
On his part, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, called on youths to vote him out in 2019.
“It is painful that the president could describe youths in Nigeria, who are daily struggling to make a living under a harsh economy, as lazy people.
“Contrary to the morale-killing comment of the president, Nigerian youths are hardworking, intelligent and enterprising. Their future was mortgaged by past leaders like president Buhari, who had everything at their beck and call as youths. I imagine the youths of today having half of the opportunities available in the 1950s and 1960s.”
He said; “At 19, President Buhari left Secondary School to join the Army. At age 21 (two years in the army), he was commissioned a second lieutenant and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Within his 24 years in the Army, the President was Governor of North Eastern State, Minister of Petroleum, Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Head of State. Where can our youths get such opportunity today?
“Under his watch as Minister of Petroleum, N2.8 billion went missing from the accounts of the NNPC in Midlands Bank in the United Kingdom.
That N2.8 billion as at that time is like $2.8 billion (over N1 trillion) now and here is he insulting the youths whose existence his likes mortgaged.”
While telling the President to stop de-marketing Nigeria and its people in foreign lands, Governor Fayose reminded Nigerians how he (Buhari) said in an interview with UK Telegraph in February 2016 that some Nigerians in the United Kingdom were disposed to criminality and should not be granted asylum there.
The governor, who insisted that the negative foundation the likes of President Buhari laid for Nigeria has made life impossible for the youths, asked; “As Military Governor of the North Eastern State, what difference did President Buhari make in the lives of youths in the North?”
He described Buhari as an analogue President, saying; “There is no connection between him and the youths because I doubt if he can even use common android phone. One can’t really blame the President; he does not understand what is obtainable in the country anymore. That’s the reason he was still seeing West Germany and Deutschmark in 2015.”
Urging the youths to use their votes to send President Buhari out of office in 2019, Governor Fayose said; “I did say before now that majority of the youths that voted for President Buhari in 2015 never
knew who they were voting for because they did not experience him (Buhari) as a Military ruler. Most of them were those that were born in the 80s and they did not witness Buhari’s clueless and draconian government.
“Now that our youths have seen President Buhari and he has top his cluelessness up by going to London to insult them by calling them lazy and uneducated people, they should be prepared to vote against him next year and installed a President that will value and respect them.”
North West zonal office of the Sule Lamido for President 2019 Campaign Organisation on Thursday condemned statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerian youths are lazy, not willing to work to earn living.
Zonal Coordinator of the Campaign Organization, Hon. Sani Liti while speaking with journalists in Kaduna, said Buhari’s statement was an indication that the President has no development plan for the youths who constituted larger number of the country’s population.
Liti also commented on the snatching of the Mace on Wednesday from the upper Chamber of the National Assembly, saying that it was a bad omen that the path to 2019 general election is laced with landmines that may jeorpadise preparation for the election.
Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in London lambasted Nigerian youths for allegedly being lazy to attain socio-economic goals.
Buhari, while speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, was quoted to have said that most youths prefer to do nothing because they feel Nigeria is an oil-rich nation.
According to Buhari, a lot of Nigerian youths have not been to school, yet they want everything free.
He said, “About the economy, we have a very young population, our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. This is a very conservative one.
“More than 60 percent 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 for free”.
However, Lamido’s Campaign Coordinator noted that left for Lamido, no Nigerian youth should be shunned and embarrassed irrespective of educational differences or working status since there are several socio-economic areas they could fit in to make the country great again.
“Therefore, Lamido will work very closely with the youths to win the presidency come 2019 general election”. He said.
Lamido’s Campaign Coordinator however, advised Buhari to treat Nigerian youths as his children, develop them for future leadership, rather than writing them off.
He said, unlike Buhari, Lamido has already put plan in place to carry all youths along in governance if he wins the 2019 presidency.
“I am indeed surprised at the unguided utterances of Mr. President, I never expected him to make such careless utterances against the Nigerian youths.
“As the President, he should encourage the youths with good words becsuse they are the future leaders. Using harsh words on them may discourage them from contributing their own quota to the development of the country”. Liti said.