President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement, some days back in London, which suggested that the Nigerian youths were lazy, was the latest in what many people call the president’s inadvertent de-marketing of his people and country. Curiously, this is not a habit he formed at old age.
As a young and energetic military head of state, he also had this tendency, a development that necessitated one of the late Afro beat maestro, Fela’s popular hits: “My people are useless, my people are senseless, my people are undisciplined.” Thus, when at the start of his government in 2015, he held a meeting in London with a former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who had earlier described Nigeria (not Nigerians) as fantastically corrupt and Buhari’s opinion was sought, he merely stamped Cameron’s position and asked to be refunded loots stashed away in the United Kingdom. He also once made a snide remark at his wife for openly criticising him, saying she belonged to “the other room”, among others.
But, if the president must know, his generation is arguably the problem of the country. If any Nigerian youth of today has the privilege they had, it would be safe to infer that Nigerian may not be where it is today. They had the best of everything – education, health, employment and other things they probably didn’t need.
Unfortunately, when handed the leadership of the country, their generation started to sink the ship of state and are yet to stop at it. The Nigerian youth is by all standards not lazy and if given the same opportunity as they were handed back then, Nigeria, without doubt, would be a better place today.