In trying to douse the public outrage arising from President Buhari’s statement at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London that rather than apply themselves, Nigeria youths are lazy and waiting for handouts from government, the Presidency has said the President used the words ‘a lot’ and not all.
Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement made available to journalists, Thursday in Abuja, traced the source of the problem to those he referred to as “manipulator’s and twisters” of Buhari’s remark
He said, “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 recognises 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 said government was conscious of its duty to enable the environment for Nigerians to actualise their dreams.
“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 actualise their potential. That is what President Buhari is committed to doing”
Offering answers to questions at the Commonwealth business Forum on Wednesday in Westminster, London, Buhari had said, “We have a very young population and our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. The 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 and therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare and education free,”
Still, social media and twitter handles of youths and prominent Nigerians are buzzing with condemnation of the Presidents statement.