In his book titled: “The Children Of A Wicked Generation: Why They Are Angry, Desperate And Vicious,” Rev. Fr. John Okwoeze Odey [SAM], a rebel on the pulpit and a Social Crusader took a critical look at the situation of this country called Nigeria and asked some mind blowing questions as it concerns Nigerian leaders and their youths. In that book, Fr. Odey said: “How would you assess a generation of leaders who pull innocent young boys out of Schools and turn them into Political thugs during elections, give guns and other lethal weapons to them, use them, abuse them to achieve their selfish aims, and not only dump them in the end, but turn round in the end to declare that they are wanted criminals as if they were born and trained by Osama Bin Laden? How would you describe a generation of leaders that confer National Honours and awards to those who have stolen this country dry and inflicted so much pain on the citizens and yet expect the young ones to be diligent, honest and patriotic? What do you think about a generation of leaders that have sown corruption, vice and violence in the young ones and yet expect themto remain incorruptible, hardworking, virtuous and peaceful? Would you think that we, the adult generation have shown real love and affection to the young ones at their most vulnerable and most trying moments when, after they have paid their skyrocketed school fees, developmental levies and an assortment of other levies in schools, we still keep about 200 or 300 of them in Lecture rooms that are built to accommodate about forty students?
Fr. Odey went on to say that, “while the fact of individual responsibility cannot be entirely ruled out on the part of the youths, that those who make it impossible for them to survive through honest means, those who make it impossible for them to be properly educated, those who make it impossible for them to be gainfully employed, those who deny them all decent opportunities and closed all honest avenues against their survival, should take a greater share of the responsibility for the vicious activities of our young ones instead of turning round to put a label on them. The young ones, he said, do not fall from the sky. The vicious things they do are what we taught them. They are but mere victims of our failed responsibilities!”
On Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, Nigerians, particularly the youths, woke up with utmost bewilderment to the callous, pachydermatous and unsympathetic statement made by a 75-year old Muhammadu Buhari who during a keynote address
at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, London, made a shame of himself by telling the whole world that the Youths of the country he is at the helm as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces are LAZY!
Earlier before that remorseless statement, I had wanted to discuss some pertinent issues with the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina. Hence, I communicated with him on Tuesday, 17th April, just a day before that reprehensible statement. While we were talking, I told him that there are some pertinent issues I would like to lay bare before him, which include the plight of the Nigerian youths, among other things, little did I know that we, the Nigerian youths will be derided the next day. The Presidential spokesman in the cause of our discussion, told me that he was away to London, but will be back to Nigeria yesterday being Sunday. He said we would have to reschedule the appointment to today, being Monday, 23rd April, to enable us have a detailed discussion on phone.
When I got to know about that statement, I became furious! I was mad! I felt like having a one-on-one talk with Buhari to remind him of things I believe he doesn’t know about the country he is ruling!
I couldn’t stop asking myself some questions: are Nigerian youths really lazy? Are we really as bad as Buhari painted us before the whole world?
While the statement is trending, it was however quite unfortunate that some of our youths who are APC die-hards exonerated Buhari by taking sides with him and twisting the statement to make all of believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with what Buhari said.
While some said that Buhari did not say “all” but “some” youths, others were still others said that Buhari was right to have made the statement, and again, I began to wonder how some of politicize everything in Nigeria. What is too difficult for us to accept things the way they are, condemn the condemnable and commend the commendable?
With all due respect, to the office of the President, whether “all” or “many” or even “some”, it is still wrong for any President to say the statement in international waters surrounded by international audience. I have looked forward to hearing Buhari apologise to Nigerians, especially the youths, and not listen to ill advise that will make matter worse, but unfortunately as it seems, he has rather remained adamant! If it was to be in a saner clime, Buhari would have been forced to resign, but for us here in Naija, we are yet to get there.
Have you ever taken time to think about Nigerian youths vis-a-vis Buhari? Have you been provoked think about the plight of the youths of this country? Can you in all honesty say like Buhari that they are lazy? Certainly they are not! And that is why I am asking this question, between Nigerian youths and Buhari, who is lazier?
Between Nigerian Youths and Buhari, who is lazier?
A man that took a vibrant economy in 2015 and in six months he ran the country into recession. A man who inherited a vibrant economy in 2015 and by 2018, not only did he drained the economy, he so impoverished the Nigeria and Nigerians, and plunged the nation into doom!
Permit me to borrow some lines from a message sent to me which a group of Nigerians who called themselves the “National Association of Disadvantaged & Oppressed Nigerian Youths [NADONY] is the alleged author.
The message reads thus:
“Accepted that Nigerian youths are lazy as Buhari said, but apart from the free oil money this country has been paying Buhari since your days as a youth till date, what has he ever created for himself? Do he have thriving businesses that are providing employment for the Nigerian youths? Has he invented anything on your own? I believe the answer is absolutely no! And, as you can see here, it is that free oil money that has kept you going for over 50 years. Perhaps this laziness is not limited to the youths alone. We guess some 75-year-old incompetent presidents are also lazy and love free oil money; and that’s why they want to remain in power till their very old age so that the rest of us Nigerians will be collectively taking care of their old age. If we take away the free oil money this country has been paying Buhari since his days as a youth, will he have any Worth?
Sir, at 19 years of age, you left Secondary School to join the Nigerian Army. At age 21, you were commissioned a second lieutenant and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Where can our youths get such opportunity today?
You enjoyed free education as a young man, but today the youths are deprived of basic education. You were a governor, a petroleum commissioner and a Head of State as a youth; but today, youths are on social media defending your failures!
Honestly, sir, we agree with you that the Nigerian youths are lazy. That’s why you ruled Nigeria as a youth and have also grabbed the job as an old man. The youths are too ignorant to even know the implication of this your comment, because some indolent ones would still rationalize it as an “ordinary” comment, forgetting that ‘out of the abundance of the mind, the mouth speaks’. They don’t even know that you and your fellow old men are presently doing the jobs that the youths should ordinarily be doing.
Sir, the most interesting aspect of this your “truth” is that you said it in a country where their government provides basic infrastructures, almost free education, free WiFi, free health care, almost free investment loans for their youths. While, in your own country, these lazy and uneducated youths, provide their own electricity, schools, security, roads, healthcare etc.. Yet, the indolent youths use their “free oil money” to buy mobile data to defend your ineptitude.
Sir, let us remind you that we have seen so many Nigerian youths who were almost useless in Nigeria, but when they cross over to the western world, they suddenly begin to excel in different fields of endeavor. What do you think is responsible for their positive output in the foreign land? Your guess is as good as ours. Sir, the difference is not far-fetched : A responsible government usually plan for their youths and create enabling environment for the youths to be able to create wealth and contribute to National development. Can we say the same of your own government ? Certainly Not!…..”
From the above said, one can better boldly tell between Nigerian youths and Buhari who is lazier.
While I wish to continue the second lap of this piece, I wish to end this here, with the words of Acha Ndubuisi, who in his book titled: NIGERIA, WHAT HOPE, said: “our leaders cannot in all honesty say that they have the interest of our children at heart when they are in their today’s dealings destroying and mortgaging the future of our children – the supposed leaders of tomorrow….”
To my fellow Nigerians, I say, as we toil, do not trust this President of yours any longer. He despises our humanity. He lacks the charm to inspire us. He does not have the right way to engage us. He is disconnected from our aspirations. He demands loyalty from us, yet, he has betrayed us over and over again. This President has not won the hearts of our people, he has not won their minds either. In the meantime, let it be said that his administration has not only destroyed Nigerian, but has equally given a very bad name to the current generation of Nigerians!
© COMR. ALI CHIADIKAOBI OGAMDE