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Monday, April 15, 2024

Opinion: Nigerian Youths, Buhari’s Ministerial List and Matters Arising

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 by Festus Ogun

The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari have been called with many ugly names over the weeks. This was because of his failure to nominate or appoint youths as minister. Those we have on the list are men and women above the age of 45. Many writers have passed blame on the president for not including, not even one, of the youths on his ministerial list. The expectation of the youths was that, after all their effort towards the success of Buhari’s Presidential ambition, he would repay them with a ministerial slot.

The failure of Buhari not appointing the youths have been said, by many, to be his lack of trust in the youths. The youths been relegated to the background of distrust. This relegation, I think, was not done to hurt or ‘underate’ the youths but to promote national development. Truly, a leader that’s having a sense of direction will definitely have iota of doubt about the reliableness of Nigerian youths.

Nigerian youths are known,globally, for armed robbery, cybercrime, Advance Fee Fraud(419), to mention a few of the criminal acts Nigerian youths are known for. It will be imperative to note here, before going further, that the main cause of the criminal acts Nigerian youths are caught of is the irresponsible nature of the government. The government on her part have failed to meet the demand of the youths; Employment and Empowerment. The responsibility of a self giving government is to provide job opportunities for the youths for they are the leaders of tommorow. Our government have failed to provide job opportunities, hence, criminal activities continues and the image of the youths in particular and the country in general is seriously damaged; in need of treatment.

Where the youths had made mistake is this: even if the government have failed to employ or empower you, criminal and brutal acts should not be the next thing.

Apart from the fact that the government have not been responsible, Nigerian youths are too lazy to work thereby taking unemployment as an excuse. They are too lazy to handle jobs that will earn them little money, though it may be hectic at first, but once the perseverance spirit is there, all will be well in the future. Nobody is ready to endure, by starting little and thinking big. What Nigerian youths want is to get a job that will be earning them millions of Naira at the initial stage. “Ise kekere, owo nla”  is the philosophy of the time. The idle hand,they say, is the devil’s workshop. The young man or woman that’s too lazy to work will end up adopting criminal activities as his or her profession. How do we expect the leaders, Buhari no exception, to put trust in such people? Lailai!

The youths are also too slothful to think. Think? Where there is poor reading culture among our youths? All we know to do at best is wasting time social network, without opening the pages of our books. Wait, do we even utilize the social network well? What we are known for is hacking, scamming and the likes.
There are thousands of jobs in town, but due to our intellectual laziness, we’ve not been able to discover these opportunities. It seem I’m missing the point, Nigerian youths think but they have failed to think on positive things rather they waist time thinking on negative and unnecessary things. Do you think it’s easy to be a Yahoo-boy? Then try it and you’ll discover that Nigerian youths are ‘great’ thinkers but only think on negative things. The point I’m holding is that there is nothing more dangerous than not thinking .

The youths of the country have been tested and most time proven to be a failure. Many a time, youths have been given the opportunity of holding public office like Local Government Chairman or Ward Councillor, what they know to do at best is to accumulate wealth. I’ve seen so many situations like this. Maybe, we shouldn’t blame them much, they only took after their leaders. It will therefore be an error to appoint one who have failed to deliver the expected goods in the local government to the federal seat. One should be entrusted with little things before entrusting one with big things. The result of the little things will later determine if one fits or do not fit the big things.

What trouble the mind of the writer of this piece is that, what about the old ones? Are they not doing worse than the youths?


Inspite the fact that the youths have been “accused” of ups and downs, it will be a ‘yeye’ mistake to generalize that all the youths are guilty of the above offences. No! Far from it. We have in Nigeria youths that are hardworking, reliable and trustworthy. We have youths with transparent honesty and proven integrity that are capable and qualified to be a national minister. I’m sure the president is aware that some set of distinguished youths are capable of delivering the expected goods. For him not picking any of them is then a personal issue only known to him.

It is noteworthy that the youths through the power in social media, played a major role during the election season that further facilitate the victory of Buhari. If Buhari is now to go by the fact that the youths are not capable, here are some salient questions for him to answer: If he’s to hold that he didn’t trust them, why did he not tell them during the campaign season? If he see them as ‘criminals’, so, criminal can vote for him but can’t be in his cabinet? These questions are begging for urgent answers.


What I sense about the non involvement of the youths on the list is that it would be of great advantage to the entire country if Buhari choose those he think he could work with as ministers. Those appointed are people he think he can work with, I suppose. One shouldn’t cruxify the man for not including the youths , he might have done that because he’s not close to any of the youths, so, he will not be able to work with them effectively.

Ministerial list is not the end of it all, there are more appointments coming in the way, Buhari should try his best to make sure that the youths are rewarded with it.

It’s not even all about appointments, what the youth need is employment and empowerment. We hope that the President provide jobs to the youths for they really help him in the fulfilment of his goal.

God bless Nigeria.

Festus Ogun, is a 200 level law student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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