President Muhammadu Buhari has finally explained what he meant by remarks he recently made about Nigerian youths that led to widespread criticism while he was away in London.
While speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, President Buhari remarked that a lot of Nigerian youths wait on handouts from the government.
"More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven't been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free," he said.
Even though the comment was interpreted as a dismissal of the work ethic of most Nigerian youths and drew criticism from political opponents and the public, the president has never directly explained his remarks.
However, while speaking during an interview with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, United States on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, the president said his words were misinterpreted by the media who love to do what they like.
He explained, "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 downward.
"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 been 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.
"For instance the nation's achievements in the agricultural sector where millions of Nigerians benefited financially were left unreported by the media."
President Buhari is currently on a working visit to the United States where he met his counterpart, PresidentDonald Trump, at the White House on Monday, April 30, 2018.
Buhari's words manipulated - Presidency
After the relentless wave of criticism that trailed Buhari's London comments, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, released a statement to allege that his words had been deliberately twisted by mischief makers to fit their agenda.
According to him, the president did not say that all Nigerian youths are lazy, but rather a lot of them. He further argued that the president could not have taken a swipe at all Nigerian youths because he values the youths, and knows that they are the fulcrum on which the future of the country rests.