A former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar; a federal lawmaker, Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa East); and former presidential aide, Reno Omokri, have reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent statement on Nigerian youth.
The politicians took to their official twitter pages to condemn Mr Buhari’s statement, describing it as a lie and an act borne out of joblessness.
The president on Wednesday criticised the attitude of some Nigerian youth, saying they were “only hustling to get on the gravy train.”
“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 Commonwealth Business Forum in London.
The president’s comment adds to an earlier one he made criticising Nigerian youth.
During a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Mr Buhari said some Nigerians in the UK, mostly youth, are disposed to criminality and should not be granted asylum there. He was fiercely criticised for the comment, with many saying it failed to convey the reality of Nigerian youth’s exploits.
In his reaction, Mr Murray-Bruce indirectly accused Mr Buhari of being the lazy one.
“Whoever says Nigerian youths are lazy should just buy a mirror and he or she will see the real definition of laziness! I have over 1000 Nigerian youths in my employ and not one of them is lazy,” he tweeted.
Mr Abubakar, a presidential aspirant, in his tweet swore never to call Nigerian youth lazy, adding that they are hardworking.
“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.
“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,” he said.
On his part, Mr Omokri said the president was only describing himself as he sits at Ask Rock and does nothing.
“He is describing himself. He sits and does nothing at Aso Rock. He gets free housing at the Presidential Villa.
He spends 103 days in London and we pay for it!
“Joblessness makes him talk anyhow!,” he said.
Other Nigerians have also reacted to the president’s mail with most criticising the president.
Below are some reactions from Nigerians:
If your governor and the senator from your constituency creates job to employ another one thousand people, and same is replicated all over, how many would be unemployed?
Stop reasoning like a daft!
— Twenty-Eight August (@judepraize) April 19, 2018
I agree with president Buhari for the first time… We are actually very lazy for allowing all these old cargos our job opportunity to lead?
#2023 can't pass us by… We thereby zone presidency to a youth?
If you agree RT let's know if we are ready?
Let's do this
— EKO MIAMI (@lagosfinest) April 18, 2018
PMB calling Nigerian youths lazy,2019 we will find out who is lazy between Nigerian youths and d President, my fellow youths get ur PVC ready.
— Abdulkarim (@Abdulka65545834) April 18, 2018
Even in your area some Niger Delta youths have refused to work. Then take a trip to Lagos and see youths who are chasing buses up and down collecting money from driver in the name of area boys, what of the omonile.
— Mazi Ubadire (@maziubadire) April 18, 2018
5000 of us who are acclaimed winners of d 2017 rebranded YouWiN now called YouWiN connect are yet to b receive funds for our brilliant individual business' plans n u say youth are lazy?#fund5000YouWiNconnectwinners@MBuhari @HMKemiAdeosun @2017YouWiNconet @atiku @bukolasaraki
— Ruese Phil Precious (@RueseP) April 19, 2018
Everyone loved buhari when he was campaigning. All this one na campaign talk….
— MR. AYO🐓🔴 (@Heyweezey) April 19, 2018
Why not support a youth to be the president of Nigeria and sit down at home to watch. You don't need to be on the presidential throne before you can help Nigeria. Use your influence and affluence to have youths there and we have 40% inclusion of the elders on the cabinet🙅
— D Á F Í D Ì | April 12 (@Thayodafidi) April 19, 2018
thank you for your concern…I STILL WONT VOTE FOR YOU SHA
— Bid Dude from Across the Street (@ali_biu335) April 19, 2018
Well that depends on the youths surrounding him. Go to Anambra and Abia, the human energy can power electric bulb
— Ben Okoli (@Surplux) April 19, 2018
President Buhari had claimed several times that he doesn't know… This is a big prove that he knows nothing about this country. Nigerian 🇳🇬 youths sit & doing nothing? I wonder what PMB would tell the POTUS. Meanwhile @MBuhari these are some of the youths you were talking abt pic.twitter.com/46ZKbus3Pf
— Afolayan Omotayo O. (@olagladstone) April 18, 2018