President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday criticised the attitude of some Nigerian youth, saying they were “only hustling to get on the gravy train.”
“More than 60 per cent of the 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,” Mr Buhari was quoted as saying by The Cable during a panel appearance with world leaders at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London.
The president’s comment adds to an earlier one he made criticising Nigerian youth.
During a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Mr Buhari said some Nigerians in the UK, mostly youth, are disposed to criminality and should not be granted asylum there. He was fiercely criticised for the comment, with many saying it failed to convey the reality of Nigerian youth’s exploits.
Early this year, an analysis by Rice University in the U.S. showed that Nigerian youth are the most educated of all migrants in the country. The institution credited the finding to a culture of relentless drive for education amongst Nigerians.
Only on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was in Lagos to meet young innovators at Andela and the larger tech community in Yaba. The hub is driven by young innovators and entrepreneurs and is widely seen as a manifestation of their entrepreneur zeal.
Mr Osinbajo had also witnessed Nigerian youth’s quest for gainful employment in the way they embraced the administration’s N-power programme which paid as low as N30,000 a month for teaching jobs.
Presidential spokespersons Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ requests for their comments about whether the president was aware of Mr Osinbajo’s efforts and the statistics by foreign institutions on young Nigerians.
Several commentators online slammed the president for his latest remarks while others defended him
“Buhari has lived off Nigeria his entire life. His son was treated for an accident thousands of Nigeria die from yearly at Nigeria’s expense. Yet, he sits and insults millions of Nigerians who have had the misfortune of not being born into the “right” families. It is sad,” said Biola Kazeem, a sports marketer and political commentator, in a Twitter update Wednesday.
Some of the president’s supporters, however, pushed back against the criticism, with many saying the president’s observations reflected his well-known personality as a blunt leader.
The supporters said the president only reechoed Nigeria’s abysmal education and employment situation, which had long been in public domain.
“In the affirmative, I think he’s giving a graphic picture of what’s going on and asking the right audience to come in,” said Ayo Akanji, one of the vocal supporters of the president online.
Latest report as the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has dismissed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari is a religious bigot.
Meanwhile Osinbajo said some of the finest Christians in Nigeria currently serve in Buhari’s government
Speaking in Adamawa State yesterday, the Vice President listed Christians in Buhari’s government to include, the Secretary of Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, who is a Pastor, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita and himself.
According to Osinbajo, “The truth of the matter is that in the government of today, we have some of the most erudite Christians, some of the best Christians occupying positions in government. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who is a pastor; the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita and of course I, the Vice-President are all Christians.
“If you look through the scriptures whether it was Joseph, Daniel or Esther, every person who made an impact in governance in the scripture that we see was supported by the prayers of the people of God.
“God is not moved unless we move His hands in the place of prayers. We are in a period in history when God wants to do something that is why some of us are in government.
“The opportunity must not be lost, your prayers to God will make that difference.”
The Chairman North-East Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Youth Wing, Pastor Mako Gwamis, on Sunday accused the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of being undemocratic and anti-Christians.
Gwamis who spoke to DAILY POST said Buhari had no passion for Christians as all his appointments were based on religious and tribal sentiments.
“To be frank, Nigeria is more divided under Buhari than any other government and it appears the constitution has been set aside to suit APC administration which is undemocratic”, he said.
He said Buhari should overhaul the service chiefs to give Nigerians confidence that the APC government was ready to decimate the insurgents.
While describing the APC administration as a doom to the nation, he urged Nigerians, regardless of religion and sentiment to vote wisely in 2019 to rescue the country.
He added that under Buhari’s government, there is no rule of law, as according to him, the government had continued to flout court orders.
A pro-democracy group, the Northern Alternative Forum, NAF, has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best presidential candidate from the region ahead of the general 2019 elections.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the National Chairman of NAF, Mallam Gidado Ibrahim said no amount of campaign of calumny against the President will stop Buhari from seeking re-election to continue his quest to return the country to path of glory.
Mallam Ibrahim, who said there was no better candidate than President Muhammadu Buhari for now, advised some Northern elements searching for a replacement for Buhari from the region ahead of the 2019 polls to dump the idea.
According to him, “after reviewing the outcome of meetings held recently by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, and other interest groups in the North, we in Northern Alternative Forum have come to the conclusion that shopping for a credible presidential candidate other than President Muhammad Buhari will only come to a dead end.”
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, on Wednesday launched a third attack at President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying government at all levels are patronizing impunity.
Obasanjo said with the issue of continuous impunity, Nigeria cannot move forward.
Speaking in Abeokuta, Ogun State, when President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Isma’la Zakari, paid him a courtesy visit, Obasanjo said the country must be sanitised with the right leadership for governance to move forward.
The former president warned that God would judge those who try to run the country aground with impunity and other forms of ungodliness.
He said Nigeria could not continue with impunity and think all would be well with the citizens.
Emphasising the need for strong institutions to enhance the country’s development, Obasanjo stressed the need to put in place leadership, governance, development, value and culture.
He said, “We don’t even look at ourselves and that is the unfortunate thing. We should look at ourselves and say yes, where did we go wrong and have the humility to say wherever we have gone wrong, we are ready to make amends.
“We go on with impunity as if we created ourselves and the country. My prayer is that those who try to run this country aground with impunity, we leave them in the hands of God and God in His infinite mercies knows what to do.
“We cannot go on with impunity and think that it will all be well. So, ICAN’s idea of accountability index should be welcomed by all men and women of goodwill in this country.”
Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has called on Buhari’s government to return N10m jobs taken from Nigerians.
Fayose stated this in reaction to a statement by the presidency, where it had told Nigerians complaining of hunger to “go and work. “
President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said this during an interview with Ben TV.
Reacting, Fayose Nigerians were not lazy people but voted for a wrong president.
He noted that Nigerians would stop complaining of hunger when the Federal government returned their lost jobs.
The Ekiti governor wrote on his Twitter page: “Nigerians are not lazy people. They are always willing to work to earn a living.
“However, by their mistake of electing Buhari as president, over 10m Nigerians lost their jobs.
“Return those jobs and see if Nigerians won’t get busy and stop complaining of hunger.”
President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisatioon, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has likened Nigeria to a jungle facing imminent collapse under the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, Nigeria currently does not represent the wishes and aspirations of the people.
Nwodo told Sunday Sun that the country must be restructured, saying that the Council of State has arrogated to itself the power of the legislature.
“Now, this is our plight; does it mean that our security forces cannot infiltrate the Boko Haram? All over the world, that is the essence of intelligence. Enter the organization with your own informant within the organization”, he said.
“Does it mean they don’t? Does it mean the $1 billion is going nowhere? Now the Council of State has arrogated to itself the legislative organ. The other day, they budgeted $1 billion to give to states that are prepared to give grazing colonies. This is the rule of the jungle and the country is collapsing.”
Nwodo also bemoaned the poor security situation of the country, which led to the recent abduction of some girls from Dapchi, Yobe State.
“The porosity of the security in Nigeria leaves one with a lot of disgust that I am beginning to wonder whether there is not something behind all of this.
“Boko Haram has sought for ransom before and they were given ransom; so soon after the children have been kidnapped, somebody who calls herself Mama Boko Haram said she was now being contacted.
“When you give them this money, they will use it to re-arm themselves and they will use it, come back and kill more of our troops. Is government part of Boko Haram?”, Nwodo quipped rhetorically.
By Reno Omokri
First of all, let me say that I am delighted that the #DapchiGirls have been returned to their parents by Boko Haram. No matter what happened before, during and after the abduction, it is safe to say that this aspect of the saga (the safe return of most of the girls) is a good thing.
The term ‘back channel’ was introduced into Nigeria’s political lexicon by the minister of defence, Mansur Dan Ali.
Mr. Dan Ali was reported to have said:
“All the security forces were asked to do everything to ensure the safe return of the Dapchi girls. The released Girls are in Dapchi and being documented; Situation is developing; release is outcome of “backchannel” negotiations; no ransoms were paid’.
Let me be unequivocal and say that I commend the Buhari administration for the release of the #DapchiGirls through “back channels”. I welcome the assurances that no ransom was paid. I am saddened at the news that some of the girls died and one still remains in captivity because she is a Christian.
I further urge the Buhari administration to do all it can through its “back channels’ to convince Boko Haram to release Liah Sharibu, the Christian girl that they continue to hold, allegedly because she refuses to abandon her Christian faith for Islam.
I urge no one to politicize her situation, as this may jeopardize her life. Finally, I urge the Buhari government to use their close relations to Boko Haram, which the Minister of Defence described as ‘back channels’ to secure the release of the remaining #ChibokGirls.
But all this talk about back channels and front channels reminds me of the fact that on November 1, 2012, Boko Haram named Muhammadu Buhari as their representative to head a team that would negotiate with the Jonathan administration on ceasefire terms. At that time, many, including myself, dismissed the move. But in the light of this ‘back channel’ talk of today, red flags are going up in my head!
Muhammadu Buhari was named by Boko Haram to Head a committee comprising Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, Bukar Abba Ibrahim (a former Yobe State governor) Ambassador Gaji Galtimari, Hajia Aisha Wakil and her husband, Alkali Wakil.
Coincidentally, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has worked with all of these people (with perhaps the exception of Bukar Abba Ibrahim and Shettima Ali Monguno, who himself became a victim of Boko Haram and has now passed away after living an honourable life).
What is happening here?
One thing I know is that Boko Haram and President Buhari have at least one thing in common – a total commitment to Sharia.
Consider the following comments made by President Buhari long before he went into politics:
“I can die for the cause of Islam if necessary. We are prepared to fight another civil war. We cannot be blackmailed into killing Sharia.” – Muhammadu Buhari (Freedom House, 2000 and culled from Akin Osuntokun)
“Muslims should only vote those who will defend their faith. We are more than the Christians if you add our Muslim brothers in the West.”- Buhari (Liberty Radio Kaduna, 2003 and culled from Akin Osuntokun)
At this juncture, I am reminded of a cryptic comment made by former President Jonathan on January 8, 2012 when he admitted that Boko Haram had infiltrated the Nigerian government and had sympathizers even in the military.
At that time, the then President had said: “Boko Haram backers and sympathizers are in the executive arm of the government; some of them are in the legislative arm of the government. Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies.
“Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house.”
Was Dr. Goodluck Jonathan right? Are we beginning to see the gloves come off? It is very strange for me as a concerned Nigerian to see a collaboration between the government and terrorists.
I find it strange to believe that Boko Haram just released the #DapchiGirls without a ransom being paid and without their captured commanders being released. If that is the case, what was the point of taking the girls in the first place?
And this ‘back channel’, what does it mean? Does Boko Haram have representatives in government or does government have representatives in Boko Haram? Do they have an embassy for their Caliphate operating somewhere in the Nigerian nation state?
The whole issue is suspicious. It raises more questions than it answers. Yes, I am glad that the girls were released but this is extraordinarily fishy to say the least. Is it that front channel abducted #DapchiGirls and ‘back channel’ released them? Is this a recycling game? What is happening here? The more you look, the less you see! There is something not quite right!
In a video of the release, Boko Haram fighters can be seen driving into Dapchi town to the joyous greetings of residents of the town. They were cheered as though they were freedom fighters. They dropped off the girls and even had time for a tête-à-tête with the parents of the girls and the elders of the town. Really? Were these not the same people who stoned Mr. Ibrahim Geidam, the Yobe State Governor a month ago?
How come they can be seen waving to Boko Haram fighters and the fighters are seen waving back?
Even after they delivered the girls back safely, neither the army nor its sister security agencies were at hand to arrest them? Why? That would have been the commonsensical thing to do. After all they have only one girl left.
What the video of the release shows is that terror can only thrive where there is local support. It is hard to see how you can hate Boko Haram and still wave to them and cheer them on. All caught on video. My goodness, this is strange. One could have been forgiven if he mistook the fawning affection shown by the people of Dapchi for Boko Haram as a visit by Omotola to Dapchi.
No wonder Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t”. Mr. Twain could as well have been writing about the Dapchi saga!
We have been told that Boko Haram is defeated and only a few stragglers remain and they are desperately hungry and lacking even the most subsistent necessities.
Yet, they showed up in Dapchi town with almost 100 well-fed girls looking as if they just returned from a holiday to Dubai?
Khadija Grema, one of the abducted #DapchGirls returned by Boko Haram spoke to Channels Television about the circumstances of their abduction. Read her account of the abduction:
“That fateful day we were ready for dinner when we heard shootings, then one of our teacher was calling and directing us to go out through the gate. When we ran into the insurgents at the gate, they gathered all of us in the name of rescue when suddenly they asked Babangida, the driver to bring the truck which they packed us in.”
This is an eye witness testimony. They were eating. They heard shooting. They panicked. They ran. Boko Haram came and got them. Does this not appear to be the act of people that knew for a fact that the security in the town and school had been dispensed with?
And we still do not know the answers to the questions posed by the All Progressives Congress Governor of Yobe State, which was – who gave the order for the soldiers guarding Dapchi to leave just prior to the abduction?
The whole thing is looking like a badly scripted Nollywood movie where a man without a shirt is hit with a car in one scene and in the next scene he is being taken to hospital with a shirt and tie! No continuity between scenes.
The whole thing looks like a tale of a rabbit that gave birth to two bunnies and three out of the two died, while the remaining four were sold! What is going on?
President Buhari who ought to have been in Kigali on March 21 to sign an African Free Trade Agreement ended up not going even though the Presidency had announced that an advanced party had gone on before him.
His refusal to show up in Kigali gave smaller African countries the opportunity they needed to issue a rebuke to Nigeria.
Why did the President not travel? Was it because of the publicly stated reason (he needed more time to consult with those opposed to the agreement) or because the front end was busy preparing for what the back end was about to do?
It almost looks to me like the #DapchiGirls and their parents were pawns in a game contrived to affect the 2019 elections.
The saddest parts of the saga are the five girls that died in captivity. At least, Liah Sharibu, is alive and where there is life, there is hope. But five girls are dead. And according to press reports, they died of a heart attack. A heart attack? Teenagers dying of a heart attack? Somehow, this does not wash.
Maybe someday, perhaps through the front channels of another regime, we will eventually get to know what really happened at Dapchi and Chibok. But for now, let us pretend to believe this ‘back channel’ fairy tale.
As an aside, let me end by saying that Governors who want to know how herdsmen will show their gratitude if given land for cattle colony only have to look at Kogi where Yahaya Bello gave them 15,000 hectares. Last week they showed gratitude by killing 25 people. Three days ago, they said thank you by killing 10 more!
As Winston Churchill said, “An Appeaser Is One Who Feeds a Crocodile, Hoping It Will Eat Him Last.” Yahaya Bello the appeaser has found out that the crocodile is not waiting to eat him last. It is eating him and Kogi State first!
A report by the Guardian of UK on Wednesday 21, 2018 is even more damning. The report quotes a #DapchiGirl thus:
“It took us three days to get back to Dapchi,” said Fatima (a #DapchiGirl). “We were divided into three groups and flown in planes, and taken over rivers in boats.”
“Neither the military nor the police attempted to apprehend the militants, who even stopped to change a tyre before leaving Dapchi, according to Mataba.”
There is some collusion somewhere because I cannot believe Boko Haram has planes and lands and takes off without collusion.
This is not about PDP or APC. If the President does not publicly discipline the IGP, he will set a very dangerous precedent. All over barracks in Nigeria, soldiers will be saying if a policeman can disobey the President, why should the military respect him. It‘s a bad omen not just for Buhari, but for our democracy. It will be taken that the President is a weak Commander-in-Chief who is dominated by his appointees instead of being in charge of his government and will lead to further insubordination by other military/paramilitary forces.