The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described a comment in Morocco in praise of Nigerian youth by President Muhammadu Buhari as a poorly packaged “deception.”
Mr Buhari made the statement on Monday when he was hosted by Moroccan Prime Minister, Saadeddine Othman, during his two-day visit to the North-African country.
In a statement on Tuesday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said Mr Buhari only uttered the praise “to sugarcoat his deep-seated disdain for Nigerian youth.”
It said the sudden praise-singing was not borne out of genuine regard for the youth but was “only a desperate afterthought aimed to reverse the public opprobrium he earned himself for his ‘lazy youths and lovers of freebies’ comment.”
Mr Buhari earlier this year at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London said some Nigerian youth are lazy.
The comment provoked a backlash as many Nigerian youth trolled the president for days, with some going as far as sharing pictures and videos showing several efforts being made by youth in the country to earn decent living.
Reacting to the latest comment in Morocco in which he portrayed the youth in a positive light, PDP said the Nigerian youth now know better and can no longer fall for Mr Buhari’s tricks.
“Every Nigerian is aware of President Buhari’s disdain for our citizens and sees his reported comments in Morocco as inconsistent with his known beliefs and dispositions,” the party said.
It also recalled the president’s light-hearted comment after signing the Not Too Young To Run bill when he told the youth to feel free to contest for any position but should not run for president in 2019.
“Perhaps, the president’s handlers in an effort to get the president the support of the youth, they heavily edited his statement on the Morocco visit,” PDP said.
It urged Mr Buhari to note that the comment in Morocco “cannot wash away the disgraceful invectives he openly poured on the energetic and vivacious Nigerian youths. He would need another CHOGM in London to remove his lazy and lover of freebies stamp on our youths.
“President Buhari should therefore end his gimmicks and let go of straws.”
The party said the president should realise the only expectation Nigerians require of him is to tender a direct apology for his “abysmal” performance and be prepared to leave for “a more innovative, and people-oriented president which Nigerians will elect on the platform of the PDP in 2019.”