President Muhammadu Buhari has explained the comment he made in London two weeks ago at a Commonwealth forum about Nigerian youths. He blamed the media for the controversy generated as a result of the comment.
The president at the event said a lot of Nigerian youths under the age 30, haven’t been to school and are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free.
The president came under fire afterwards from Nigerian youths who were not happy that their own president implied that they were lazy.
President Buhari, who is in the U.S. on the invitation of the American President Donald Trump, explained his statement in a special interview session with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, United States on Tuesday morning.
He said the media ignored the import of the comment and reported what they liked.
The News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying: “You know Nigeria’s population is now between 180 and 190 million and 60 per cent of this population is youth that is 30 years down ward.
“You know in the North most youths are uneducated or school dropouts. If not because we had good harvests in the last two farming seasons the situation would have been deteriorated.
“These youths even if they travel out of the North for greener pasture they hardly make it economically because what they earn as income cannot afford them to meet their basic needs or return home.
“All these explanations I made, they refused to highlight them in their report and you know the media in Nigeria in most cases only do what they like.
“For instance the nation’s achievements in the agricultural sector where millions of Nigerians benefitted financially were left unreported by the media.
“Even when the Minister of Information and Culture wanted to reply that abusive letter written by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, I had wanted Lai not to reply the letter but I said I should allow him to highlight the achievements of our administration.’’
President Buhari also used the opportunity to debunk the insinuation that Christians were being killed by herdsmen.
He said that clashes between farmers and herdsmen had been in existence for the past years, saying that Nigerian herdsmen were not in the habit of carrying dangerous weapons while moving their animals around the country.
The president also diclosed that he has approved the recruitment of 6000 policemen as part of measures aimed at addressing the nation’s security challenges.