Founder and convener of New Nigeria Movement and Vice President of Nigerian Young Professional Forum, Dr. Chima Anyaso has on behalf of Nigerian youths demanded an apology from President Muhammed Buhari coming on the heels of recent outburst of criticism by young Nigerians over comments alleged to have been made by the president at the commonwealth submit in London.
In a state statement issued in Lagos yesterday, Anyaso insisted that the president should retract the statement and apologies to young Nigerians who have labored without any support from government. He said that what Nigerian youths deserve is respect and recognition for their efforts in making sure Nigeria gains global recognition through sports, music, movies, technology and innovations.
He noted that because of the ingenuity of Nigerian youths around the world and within Nigeria, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg thought it right to visit Nigeria in his most recent tour of the world to encourage Nigerian youths in technology and ICT.
According to him, “that is one of the numerous testimonies to the fact that the Nigerian Youth has not failed”
The statement read “let us once again remind ourselves that the hope of a prosperous Nigeria rests on the shoulders of youths of this country. As someone who is committed to the course of youth empowerment and youths’ active involvement in politics, I am deeply pained by the comments credited to the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, President Mohammed Buhari, qualifying Nigerian Youths as lazy and illiterates. I doubt that this came from the president, but if the president did make this comment attributed to him, then it is indeed an unfortunate situation”.
He went further “as a youth leader and someone in contact with youths in Nigeria, I understand the pains, the hardship and challenges facing Nigerian youths. I therefore consider it unfair and indeed out rightly unfortunate that those whose responsibility it is to provide enabling environment for youths to thrive in business, those whose responsibility it is to build schools and implement policies that will ensure compulsory education for the citizenry have lost their sense of responsibility thereby shifting the blame to the very victims of mis governance. The vilification of the Nigerian Youth did not start today, but it has to stop”
The statement went further “I want to use this medium to remind Mr. president that his comment is a slap on the faces of young Nigerians who have against all odds distinguished themselves in their chosen fields, young Nigerians whose ingenuity is responsible for the explosive growth of small and medium scale enterprises providing millions of jobs to all Nigerians, the millions of Nigerians who have gone through untold hardships and struggles to see themselves through school because the government failed to provide free or affordable education for them.
However, I urge the youths not to be discouraged by these kinds of comments. Let us remain resilient, focused and committed to rebuilding our nation. A new Nigeria is possible”.
Chima Anyaso, alongside other Nigerian young leaders recently led a delegation of young people to visit former president Olusegun Obasanjo, retired General Ibrahim Babangida and Former President Goodluck Jonathan to enlist the support of these past leaders to encourage the involvement of youths in active politics under the platform of NN19.