For the UN scribe, the hopes of the world rest on young people. ”Peace, economic dynamism, social justice, tolerance — all this and more, today and tomorrow, depends on tapping into the power of youth”, he said.
But President Buhari recently criticised the attitude of some Nigerian youth, saying they were only hustling to get on the gravy train.
”More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free”, the President was quoted to have said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London.
President Buhari’s comment adds to an earlier one he made criticising Nigerian youth.
During a February 2016 interview with the United Kingdom Telegraph, Buhari said some Nigerians in the UK, mostly youth, are disposed to criminality and should not be granted asylum there. He was fiercely criticised for the comment, with many saying it failed to convey the reality of Nigerian youth’s exploits.
Yet, more than 400 million young women and men live amidst armed conflict or organized violence. Millions face deprivation, harassment, bullying and other infringements of their rights. Young women and girls are particularly vulnerable.According to the UN Secretary-General, ”the world’s young people need safe spaces — public, civic, physical and digital spaces — where they can freely express their views and pursue their dreams. We must invest so that young people have access to education, training and decent jobs to achieve their full potential.
”The United Nations is strongly committed to listening to the voices of young people — and opening pathways for meaningful participation in decisions that affect them. This September, we will launch a new strategy to step up our work with and for young people.
”In making the world safe for young people, we make the world better for all. I wish all a happy International Youth Day”.