President Muhammadu Buhari has criticized the Nigerian media, “especially the print”, saying: “The media are doing whatever they like.”
The President said this during an interview with Aliyu Mustapha of VOA in Washington, where he was asked about his recent ‘lazy’ comment on Nigerian youth.
It will be recalled that at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, Buhari had said: “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.” The media interpreted the comment to mean the President said Nigerian youth are lazy.
However, in his interview with VOA, Buhari clarified his original intentions, saying: “You know, they say we are over 180 to 200 million people in Nigeria and 60 per cent are the youth below the age of 30.
“In the North, for instance, most have not attended school or they abandoned halfway. If not because we had favourable rainfall in the past two seasons, most of them have no job, just idling away. People like them, even if they go to the South, for instance, what they will make will not be enough to even pay their rent not to talk of feeding, clothing and transport back home.
“That has not been explained enough and you know the media, especially the print, are simply doing whatever they like. We had two successful farming seasons, people went to farm and did very well, but no one is talking about that; only insults.”