Buhari’s unpresidential comments on youth
Sir: President Muhammadu Buhari has become a cause for serious concern as he frequently makes statements about Nigeria that are tantamount to self-immolation. The most annoying aspect of the presidential diarrhea is that the ailment troubles him the most especially when he is on a global stage. It seems to me that seeing the accomplishments of other nations intimidates Buhari and he is quick to make utterances that are not in the best interest of the nation. A president shouldn’t make excuses for his failures neither should he heap the blame of unproductivity on the teaming Nigerian youth that made his emergence as President possible.
Buhari impudently declared, “we have a very young population, our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. This is a very conservative one, 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.”
As erroneous as his declarations are, if 60 per cent of 180 million Nigerians are under 30 who are unschooled dependents who hope on oil shouldn’t that be a cause for major concern for the Presidency. If 60 per cent of young Nigerians are unemployed that means that the national work force has been greatly impaired. This is 2018, three years after the emergence of Buhari as president, there is a misplacement of priority by his administration and it further lends credence to the fact that his administration has done nothing in the area of job creation and education. Additionally, his comments contradicts the pronouncements of Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, who recently said in January that Buhari created over eight million jobs in less than three years.
He further buttressed his point by saying that farming, carpentry, bricklaying, tiling and many others constitute the blue collar jobs which the Federal Government was now using to redeem youths from joblessness occasioned by lack of white collar jobs. While the minister of labour passed a verdict on Buhari’s inability to create white collar jobs for the teaming population of Nigerian youth, Buhari has gone further to even repudiate the credit given to his administration by his labour minister by declaring that 60 per cent of Nigerians who are under 30 are unschooled and idly depending on oil. This lends credence to the popular belief that a liar cannot be consistent with his lies which will often lead to contradicting statements.
Buhari must know that he is not just a municipal president of Nigeria but the nation’s number one ambassador cum diplomat in the international community hence he should exercise caution by speaking with knowledge when the radar is on Nigeria.
I watched a recent video broadcast where the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo sternly cleared the air on the rumoured intent of the United States of America to establish a military base in Ghana. His speech evoked patriotism and love for Ghana. He stated that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ghana will never be compromised, he also pledged to uphold and build on the gains of their past leaders. That is how a President should talk. A president’s speech should inspire confidence in the hearts and minds of his people both at home and in the diaspora. You don’t make speeches that frustrates and infuriates the citizens of your country in the comity of nations.Nigerians not just the youth demand an immediate apology from Buhari.