Despite the outrage generated by his comment on young persons in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has again spoken on the negative aspects of youth.
While speaking at a Commonwealth forum in London, Buhari had said a lot of Nigerian youths have not been to school and they want everything free, banking on the notion that Nigerian is an oil-rich nation.
“More than 60 percent of the (Nigeria’s) population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he had said.
The comment had generated backlash from many Nigerians who berated the president for “de-marketing the country.”
However, speaking during an interview with Voice of America on Tuesday, Buhari said most youth in the north are uneducated or school dropouts.
He said this while clarifying his comment on young persons in London. The president said the comment he made at the Commonwealth forum was taken out of context.
“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,” he told VOA.
“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 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.”
‘AT FIRST, I DIDN’T WANT LAI MOHAMMED TO REPLY OBASANJO’S LETTER’
Buhari added that he did not want Lai Mohammed, minister of information, to reply ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on his criticism about his administration.
Obasanjo had written the president a letter, accusing him of performing below expectations.
But Mohammed, in return, faulted Obasanjo’s letter, listing the things he considered as the achievements of Buhari.
He said he let the minister to reply Obasanjo so as to highlight his (Buhari’s) achievements since coming to power.
He said: “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.”