It is no doubt a rude shock that millions of Nigerian youths that have been adjudged as one of the most hardworking, resilient and industrious in the world were disgraced by their country’s number one citizen, President Muhammadu Buhari, while attending a meeting in London last Wednesday.
Buhari, while attending Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, instead of telling the world and those present that Nigerian youths have a lot of yet-to-be identified and untapped potentials but are handicapped because the environment is not conducive for them to realise their God-given talents, shocked the world that most youths in his country prefer to do nothing because they feel Nigeria is an oil-rich nation.
I disagree because Nigerian youths are not in any way claiming that we have oil and should not work. I ask Mr. President to name any company that pays its workers regularly and is concerned about their welfare that has sacked any youth because he or she is lazy. He should also name the individual for sake of clarity.
Though, the Presidency and some top government functionaries, adults, academia, activists and even some youths, maybe due to ethnic, religious, political party affiliation, ignorance or pecuniary reasons are still defending the indefensible, I will not blame them, they are one way or the other benefiting from the largesse and reaping from our commonwealth at the detriment of all of us.
That is why they are always in the habit of defending their heroes, even when such a person is wrong. I decided not to blame them because it is generally believed that he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
Why would the President, instead of projecting the image of the youths and the country at large positively, make such statement that has generated a lot of criticisms? I think the image makers in the Presidency still need a lot of lessons to learn from this and I am sure they must have learnt some on what to and not to say abroad and even at home.
This administration promised a lot of things, including reduction in the pump price of petrol, increased megawatts of electricity and constant electricity supply, good roads and other infrastructure, job creation, feeding of school children, putting a stop to security challenges and fight against corruption, among others. The only ones I can vividly see is the NPower jobs and the trial of perceived corrupt persons in the media.
I will urge President Buhari to wake up early in the morning and visit streets of Ibadan, Lagos, Kano, Jos, Kaduna, Aba and Onitsha, whether he will not see thousands of teenagers and youths hustling, selling sachet water, soft drinks, engaging in menial jobs among others, in order to feed themselves and even their family members.
Mr President needs to visit our ivory towers and see thousands of students, male and female, engaging in all kinds of businesses in order to survive, because they are the ones responsible for payment of their school fees.
It is now pertinent to ask Mr President: “Where are the lazy youths” he was referring to. I am a youth and a voice to my own generation. We are not lazy but are hardworking people.
- Musliudeen Adebayo, firstname.lastname@example.org