President Muhammadu Buhari has said that most youths from the northern part of the country are either uneducated or school dropouts. He also said God would judge past leaders who misgoverned the country. Buhari said because Nigerian media only do what they like, they refused to highlight the explanations in his recent statement in which he was widely quoted as describing a lot of Nigerian youths as lazy.
The President said this in an interview he had with the Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, United States on Tuesday. When asked about his reported comment on Nigerian youths while in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Buhari said the media only preferred to report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.
The President said,
“You know they say we are between 180 and 200 million people in Nigeria and 60 per cent are the youths below the age of 30.
“In the North for instance, most have not attended school or they abandoned halfway. “If not because we had favourable rainfall in the past two seasons, most of them have no job, just idling away.
“People like them, even if they go to the South for instance, what they will make will not be enough to even pay their rent let alone feeding, clothing and transport back home.
“That has not been explained enough and you know the media, especially the print, are simply doing whatever they like. “We had two successful farming seasons, people went to farm and did very well, but no one is talking about that; only insults.
“That is why the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had to respond to the letter of insults released by (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo. We spoke about it and I asked him not to respond but he refused and said he would just respond by stating the situation we met the country, where it is now and what has been done in-between and the monies we are getting.”
Buhari restated his position that the Peoples Democratic Party, in its 16 years in power, left debts for the country despite making huge income from oil.
He said there were no good roads or power supply to justify billions of dollars spent, adding that only God would judge the past leaders.
“Recently, I had to come out and state that from 1999 to 2014, anyone who carries out a study here in America or Europe or India will know that we were producing 2.2 million barrels of crude oil daily at a price of at least $100 per barrel.
“In those 16 years of the PDP rule, Nigeria was getting 2.1 million x $100 every day, every week, but when we came on board; the price fell to between $37 and $38 and hanged around $40 and $50.
“I went to the CBN – the governor of CBN is here and asked him how far and he said nothing was left apart from debts. “I said but this is what the country made? And he said yes, he knew, and I asked him where is the money? All is gone. “Nigerians know that there were no roads or rail lines, there was no power, despite the billions of dollars spent. Only God will judge this thing,”
The President declared.
Buhari insisted that conflicts between farmers and herdsmen did not start now, adding that it was wrong to describe it as clashes between Fulani and other people.
As part of efforts to restore security in parts of the country, Buhari said he had approved the recruitment of additional 6,000 policemen for the country. He said his directive was that the personnel should be recruited across the 774 local government areas in the country instead of
“going to motor parks and markets to just pick people anyhow.”
Buhari also kicked against the establishment of state police as being canvassed by some people including state governors.