The Nigerian President, General Muhammadu Buhari while speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London disparagingly stated that Nigerian youths were uneducated, lazy and wanting everything given to them for free. This statement caused an outrage among Nigerians back home and in diaspora, majority of whom are highly educated but suffocated by a retrogressive system that rewards mediocrity and denigrates merit and excellence.
Below are some of their highly cerebral responses in the social media.
Gregory Onokwai, a Chemical Engineer and Sales Executive responded aptly on his Facebook wall thus:
“Even the laziest Nigerian youth would have increased 150 cows to 151 at 2015 and 152 by 2019.”
Former President of Ijaw Youth Council, Worldwide, Miabiye Kuromiema, in his Facebook post, questioned the educational history and literacy of the Nigerian President.
The Secretary General of Lower Niger Congress (LNC) and Movement for New Nigeria (MNN), Mr Tony Nnadi opined that Buhari’s comment might be true for General Buhari’s part of Northern Nigeria but not for the other highly educated parts of Nigeria.
Former Vice President and Presidential front-runner in the 2019 Presidential race, Mr Atiku Abubakar was not left out in the swift responses to President Buhari’s verbal assault. He said:
“I will never refer to Nigeria’s youth as people who sit and do nothing. They are hardworking. I should know, I have thousands of youths working for me all over the country who have been the backbone to our success.
I’ve always said oil is not Nigeria’s greatest asset. Our greatest asset is our youth who created Nollywood out of nothing and an entertainment industry that is second to none in Africa.
Our youth are charting new frontiers; creating a huge tech industry on their own! Their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities are things of pride and should be applauded, encouraged and nurtured.”
Mr Unhunekpema E.L. Osawe, a Nigerian based in the United Kingdom has the following to say:
“Here is Obama’s daughter working as an intern. Buhari should tell us which work Yusuf is doing to own millions of naira to afford a luxury bike worth millions or money to be flown abroad for treatment.
Another Nigerian, Udofia Umoh did not spare General Buhari in his response below.
“10 million jobs lost since 2015. It is not laziness that makes Nigeria’s youth jobless, it is Buhari’s incompetence; “cluelessness”, poor sense of geography, no sense of economics, bigotry and religious fanaticism that makes them jobless. How many of Buhari’s children are gainfully employed? His son Yusuf is busy riding multimillion power bikes while the father insults us! This is a man who has no CV, a man who has never attended an interview, who has never trek a kilometre, who couldn’t even paid for his presidential form, who was elected on trust from “jobless youth”, a man whose children earn a living far better than a university professor. It is what he ought to say about himself that he is saying about Nigeria’s youth. Buhari is the one that does not want to work. What project has he initiated, started and completed in 3 years? The only thing he knows how to do is employ the dead, blame the dead, and condemn his superiors! Jonathan gave youths #YouWIN. What has Buhari given youths besides sorrow, tears, terrorism, genocide, ethnic cleansing and blood letting?”