It’s very unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari went to London and stated that Nigerian youths are lazy and uneducated. I was dumbfounded when I read it today. Mr President, do you mean to tell me that you’re blind to the work we (the Nigerian youths) are putting in? Are you not seeing all the efforts the youths are putting just to make ends meet in a country where you brought untold hardship, hunger and starvation? Well, in case you can’t see our efforts, please permit me to give you some facts that would make you see reasons with me and probably have a rethink that Nigerian youths are not lazy and uneducated because it’s crystal clear that you don’t even know what’s happening in your country.
Nigeria is one of the best countries in Africa when it comes to entertainment. As the matter of fact, we are second to none. Our Music Industry has seen tremendous growth over the past years. We keep seeing artistes like Wizkid and Davido winning all the international awards and bringing honour to our country. There was a time when the name “Nigeria” became synonymous with terrorism; outside the shores of this country at that time, the only thing people knew Nigeria with was terrorism. But it was our Music that helped re-branded our image at that time. And today, when you mention “African Music”, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is “Nigerian music” because our artistes did not just make Nigeria proud, but also made the whole of Africa proud. And those artistes are youths. Yes, the Music Industry is filled with youths who struggle on their own to secure for themselves a bright future in a country where their futures are neglected. The same goes to the Nollywood; our actors and actresses work hard day and night in order to give us international recognition. So do you really think we are lazy?
Please Mr President, I’m sorry to say this but the truth is that Nigeria is a country where dreams are killed and opportunities are shortened. If only we have what is obtainable in the Western world like their technologies and good working environment then believe me, Nigeria would have been the best country in the whole world. We have youths with talents and potentials, but they are never supported. Even I, Enoch Israel, I have written books but never had anyone to support me publish them. I used my own resources but got handicapped in the long-run and when I seeked for support from the Government, I got none. I even tried organising a Peace Concert in Southern Kaduna that would unite Nigerians in times of crisis but what did the government support me with? Nothing.
Mr President, about the issue of Nigerian youths not being educated, it’s not just embarrassing but it’s also absurd and baseless. Are you for real Mr President? You mean we are not educated? How many graduates do we have in Nigeria? We have thousands of youths who are graduates yet they have no job. If I may ask you sir, what modalities have you put on ground to support them after being educated? Every year, about 300,000 youths graduate from Nigerian Universities. Our youths would go to school, graduate and come back home roaming about the streets without any thing to do. And you’re still saying they are uneducated and should go to school when there’s nothing to do after school. Talking about our educational system, when last did you improve on it? Our educational system is totally down. Even our neighboring country, Ghana as small as it is has a better educational system than us. Please sir, don’t just tell us to go to school without improving on the school system and without making job opportunities available for us after graduation.
The amazing thing is that even with the rate of unemployment in the country, our youths would still go to school, graduate and afterwards start businesses of their own. And others would venture into Agriculture. But it’s still the same country again that would give them unfavorable business environment. How can a businessman makes purchase overseas when the dollar is high against the Naira? How can we have investors when insecurity is on the rise? And you still said Nigerian youths are lazy?
If anyone is lazy in Nigeria then it would be some of our so-called leaders that we voted but are not doing the work they are supposed to do. Imagine a country where the legislatures would be fighting in the chambers when the world is watching them. Imagine a country where the Mace, which is the symbol of authority was stolen during plenary session in the National Assembly with tight security agencies and the media yet the culprits have not been brought to booked. Now those people we called leaders are the lazy ones because they refused to allow us to work, yet they are not working for us either.
To be honest Mr President, I’ve done a lot for Nigeria. I am serving Nigeria through NYSC when all I get is peanut as monthly allowance. I used my God-given talent and my money to record songs for Nigeria that would preach and promote peace and unity. I used my resources and strength to create a Peace Concert in Southern Kaduna that would unite the Muslims and Christians together. What did I get in return? Nothing.
The late American President, John F. Kennedy once stated; “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” But the truth of the matter is that we can never do anything for our country when the country doesn’t want us to do anything for it. We want to work, but you didn’t give us job. We want to be educated, but you didn’t provide good educational system for us. We want to be the leaders of Nigeria, but you refused to step down for us. So how can the youths make positive impacts when the old are selfish?
And Mr President, don’t forget that the same youths you said are lazy were the same youths that voted you in 2015. At this juncture, I’d like to drop my pen. But I want you to sit down and think about this; are the Nigerian youths really lazy or are the leaders being selfish?
My name is Enoch Israel.