– Criticism not targeted at all of them – Presidency
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, blasted President Muhammadu Buhari, submitting that Nigerian youths, by their demonstrated industry, cannot in any way be described by anybody as lazy. The party, in a statement through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Nigerians find it extremely shocking that President Buhari could make such a false, derogatory and unpatriotic comment against our citizens at a time the nation was looking up to him to properly present our potentials to the global business community. “It is alarming that at every international event, the president makes it a favourite past time to de-market, paint and denigrate our dear nation and her citizens in very negative light, an indication that he has stopped believing in Nigeria.”
“Mr. President’s latest salvo is totally unacceptable and must be condemned by all rightthinking people to avoid further verbal assault against our country, particularly at international fora.” Continuing, it read: “How can President Buhari describe Nigerian youths as lazy, when they have proven, without doubt, to be one of the most industrious sets of individuals across the world? “Here is a president, whose administration has in its three years of governance, contributed nothing towards providing opportunities for our youths and who has not initiated or implemented any development project or set up any industry to provide jobs for our aspiring youths. “Here is a president under whose watch, factories and businesses have shut down, resulting in over 24 million job losses and under whom no meaningful foreign direct investment has been attracted to the country.
“This is a president who daily watches Nigerian youths sweating on menial jobs under very strenuous conditions on the streets of Abuja, Jos, Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Bauchi, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Onitsha and other major cities, yet he unsympathetically described them as lazy.” The party also lamented that “these are the same set of Nigerians who, upon being afforded the right opportunities in other countries of the world, are known to have excelled in various fields of endeavour.” “Nigerians can now see that when the PDP accused President Buhari of de-marketing our nation, we were not playing politics.
It is however saddening that after de-marketing his own generation; President Buhari is set to destroy the future of younger Nigerians.” The party was also pained that “these are the same young persons who form the highest demography of voters that put their confidence in him in 2015; now they are receiving the short end of the stick from the President.” “Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have done enough harm to our dear nation, and there are no signs that they will change their stance. Nigerians, especially the youth, must, therefore, spare no thoughts in their resolve to vote them out in 2019,” the statement added.
Presidency clarifies But the Presidency has insisted that Buhari’s remarks had been twisted by “manipulators and mischief-makers.” Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina made the clarifications in a statement yesterday. The statement read in part: “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” witheverything.” “President Buhari has always applauded and celebrated Nigerian youths who excel in different areas of endeavour, from sports, to academia, and other realms.
And he will continue to do so, because he values the youths, and knows that they are the fulcrum on which the future of the country rests. “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 potentials. That is what President Buhari is committed to doing,” Adesina added.