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Presidency Defends Buhari's 'Lazy Nigerian Youths' Comment

The presidency has defended President Muhmmadu Buhari’s comment about Nigerian youths, saying every country has its own share of idle population.

Special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement released to journalists on Thursday said the President’s comments about Nigerians youths being ‘lazy’ did not apply to all Nigerian youths.


He said, “Indeed, every country has its share of idle population, and it is the bounden duty of government at all levels, to create an enabling environment for them to actualize their potentials. That is what President Buhari is committed to doing.”

“Responding to a question, President Buhari had cause to talk about some Nigerian youths, and he said: "We have a very young population; our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. More than 60 percent of the population is below the age of 30. A lot of them have not been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare, and education free.”

Mr. Adesina, however, said that the storm over the President’s comment was the handiwork of   “manipulators and twisters.”

“Typical of their stock in trade, manipulators, and twisters of statements of Mr. President, who lie in wait to make mischief, interpreted the comment to mean that President Buhari had taken all Nigerian youths to the cleaners.

“But elementary English recognizes a wide gulf between "a lot of" and the word "all." How can "a lot of them," suddenly transmogrify to mean “all of them?” Mischievous and unconscionable! There is no way President Buhari, father of the Nigerian nation in every sense of the word, who equally has biological children of his own in the youths age bracket, pass a vote of no confidence on all youths. It can only exist in the imagination of those who play what the President has described as "irresponsible politics" with everything.”

He added that President Buhari is focused on creating opportunities for Nigerian youths to excel: “The focal areas of the administration; securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, are actually intended to give youths a future and a hope. This much was emphasized in an April 5, 2018 comment by President Buhari, while receiving Letter of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, when he said: "Our insistence on probity is to encourage people to be accountable, and accept honesty as a lifestyle so as to secure the future of our youths.’’

The President also said more than 60 percent of Nigerians fall into the age category of youths and deserve to inherit a stable and prosperous country that they can be proud of, adding that the government will work assiduously to prevent waste and the depletion of resources by corrupt Nigerians.”

The presidential spokesman said Buhari had always celebrated Nigerian youths who excel in different areas of endeavor, from sports to academia, and other realms and would continue to do so.

Sahara Reporters had earlier reported that Nigerians youths including some members of the opposition party, had faulted the president’s comments that the youths in the country are lazy.