On April 18, 2018 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, Nigeria’s President listened as other commonwealth leaders chose to promote their countries and people and when it got to his turn, President Muhammadu Buhari chose to describe Nigeria’s youth as a lazy and uneducated.
President Buhari said:
“We have a very young population, our population is estimated to be 196 million in 2018. This is a very conservative one. More than 60 percent 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”.
This would not be the first, second or even third time Muhammadu Buhari has disparaged Nigerians to the international community. On February 5, 2016, he told the Telegraph of the UK that the reputation Nigerians have for crime has made them unwelcome in the West.
In the case of the Lazy Nigerian youth statement, what was worse is that when given the opportunity to dial back from that statement, the Presidency released a statement the next day (April 19, 2018) explaining that what the President meant is that most, but not all, Nigerian youths were lazy.
Even if I tried to make it up, my fiction could not match the unprecedented cluelessness of President Buhari and his media team.
How can a President who cannot name one project that he initiated, started and completed in the last three call Nigeria’s youth who have accomplished many great things in the same period, lazy?
Since the President’s favourite pastime is to blame his ineptitude on his predecessors rather than take responsibility and lead from the front as he promised, I would like to single out one of such youths as a role model to President Buhari.
During the Nigeria versus Iceland World Cup game that took place on Friday April 22, 2018, Ahmed Musa brought more joy to Nigerians in 90 minutes than Buhari has brought to Nigeria in three years. He did not engage in Buhari’s pastime of blame game. Neither did he make excuses to justify failure. This young Nigerian youth just scored. And to prove it was not a fluke, he scored again.
I personally believe that Ahmed Musa would do a better job of governing Nigeria than the inept tyrant who called Nigerian youths like Ahmed Musa ‘lazy and uneducated’! (Almost anyone would do a better job of ruling than a man who still thinks that there is a country called West Germany).
And if all Ahmed Musa did was to prove to Buhari that Nigeria’s youth are not lazy, he would have done enough. But that was not all he proved. Not by a long shot!
President Buhari is notorious for being against any attempt to restructure Nigeria and prefers the status quo which has set Nigeria backwards and to borrow the words of Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, made “the country look big for nothing before international circles”.
Ahmed Musa has proven President Buhari’s fears to be unfounded by establishing once and for all that talents abound in all parts of Nigeria and that no part of Nigeria will lose out if we restructure and replace ethnicity with merit. If not for this Northerner names Ahmed Musa, Nigeria would have had little hope in this #RussiaWorldCup2018. All Nigerians matter.
If there is anything President Buhari can learn from Ahmed Musa’s feat, it is that Nigerians want a leader that can deliver results, like Ahmed Musa, not one that delivers activity, like Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigerians need a leader with vision, one who gives hardworking youths opportunities instead of rewarding degenerate terrorists openings that should go to youths who can really contribute to Nigeria’s growth.
?Let me at this point go on record as saying that I am shocked at the alleged plans by the Buhari administration to recruit ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members into the police. Thank God the Christian Association of Nigeria has rejected the evil plan. How can terrorists police us?
Next, Buhari will recruit herdsmen in the army if he has not already done so! Must this government show its open bias in favour of one religion over the other? What is this madness? Will Donald Trump or Theresa May ask their respective police forces to recruit former jihadists or alqaeda members? All Nigerians must reject this devilish plan! ?
And while our youths like Ahmed Musa continue to advance the frontiers of Nigeria’s greatness, Buhari and his team persist in diminishing Nigeria by their unprecedented hypocrisy.
For instance, on Thursday June 21, 2018, Buhari while delivering the keynote address at the opening of the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress at the Conference Centre of the Presidential Villa, asked journalists to halt fake news.
Really? Is this not the same Buhari who lied that there was no fuel subsidy and that Jonathan was deceiving Nigerians only for him to get into power and start paying double the subsidy Jonathan paid even after increasing fuel price?
At the same event, Buhari also appealed to journalists not to carry hate speech, yet his own spokeswoman calls the Christian Association of Nigeria a ‘CAN of worms’. How hypocritical can the President be? Aso Rock under Buhari has become the headquarters of hate speech and fake news in Nigeria.
The truth is that Buhari has proved to Nigeria’s youth that he should be in Daura spending his pension rather than being at Aso Rock directing their futures.
Before I end this piece though, permit me to say something about a Nigerian youth that is my inspiration and hero.
?Four months ago, Leah Sheribu was abducted by Boko Haram, who continue to hold her captive because she refused to abandon her faith in Jesus. I wish feminists, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, could use their celebrity to focus the world’s attention on Leah. Leah may not be Hillary or chivalry, but she is worthy of heraldry.
President Muhammadu Buhari appears to have forgotten all about Leah. He did not mention her in his Democracy Day speech that was riddled with lies. And when the Christian Association of Nigeria reminds the President of his duty to rescue Leah and prevent the killings of Nigerians by his herdsmen kinsmen, his spokeswoman Insulted them by calling CAN a CAN of worms. If you have read this, please can you stop what you are doing and just say a prayer for the safe return of Leah? ?