The effort of the Presidency to defend President Muhammadu Buhari over his comments on Nigerian Youths has been described as imbecilic.
While answering a question at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London on Wednesday, President Buhari had cause to talk about Nigerian youths.
Mr Buhari had described the youths as illiterates who are lazy and want freebies with the notion that the nation is an oil producing country.
He had said: “We have a very young population; our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. More than 60 per cent 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.”
His comments sparked reactions from the country’s young population who lambasted the president over his comments on them.
Defending Buhari, the Presidency blamed those it called ‘statement twisters‘ as those who manipulated the president’s comments about the youths.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement denied the president disparaged Nigerian youths, adding that, “Elementary English recognizes a wide gulf between “a lot of” and the word “all.”
Adesina asked, “How can “a lot of them,” suddenly transmogrify to mean “all of them?”
The remarks of the presidential aide did not go down well with a Human Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong, prompting him to describe the attempt by Adesina to defend his principal as ‘imbecilic.’
Effiong, 29, a legal practitioner who resides in Lagos said the President remarks about Nigerian youths amounts to being irresponsible assertion of deficit in governance skills while describing him as one who has no integrity.
“How many times has Buhari held a media chat since he assumed office? How many interviews has this President granted in Nigeria? How many new books has Buhari read in the last two years?
“What has Buhari done to change the comatose state of our educational system? A President that only regains his voice when he is abroad should not be taken seriously by the citizens.
“You do not constantly malign your country and people before imperial governments. That is not bluntness or being truthful, it is an irresponsible assertion of deficit in governance skills by a man who is paid to lead.
“Buhari has no integrity. People should stop associating Buhari with integrity.
“Under this same Buhari’s “integrity” administration, We’ve seen how children of the political class are getting preferential treatment in recruitment into ‘lucrative’ agencies to the disadvantage of the “lazy Nigerian youths”. Mr. Fake Integrity has not given citizens equal treatment but speaks condescendingly of the poor youths.
“I live and work in Lagos, a state where people barely sleep well because most residents are ceaselessly busy with their work. As early as 4AM, people are struggling to make ends meet. There is just ‘no dull moment’ in Lagos. A vast majority of residents of Lagos are young people. Go to Computer Village in Ikeja and see the determined spirit of Nigerian youths.
“Trying to distinguish “a lot of young Nigerians” from “all young Nigerians” is the most imbecilic attempt to defend the indefensible outbursts of Buhari. This is a country that has become a Destiny Killer to young people, largely because of failed leaders like Buhari.
“Here is a man whose children are feeding fat on the wealth of the long suffering people of Nigeria whose fortunes have been greatly diminished by his unparalleled incompetence and unprecedented nepotism. Buhari has insulted the lifeline of this nation; young people.
“Buhari behaves like a deaf and dumb person whenever he is in Nigeria by speaking in laconic terms but will always become offensively and irritatingly loquacious once he leaves the shores of Nigeria.
“This President is rude, ungrateful and grossly incompetent,” Effiong said.