The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the umbrella body of all youth groups in the South-East geopolitical zone, has described President Muhammadu Buhari -led government as the most youth-unfriendly and youth-oppressive government in the history of Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement by the group’s President-General, Goodluck Ibem, who accused Buhari of relegating Nigerian youths to the background.
The group issued a seven-day ultimatum for the government to resolve the protracted ASUU strike, which started in February or brace up for the wrath of the Nigerian youths.
COSEYL further alleged that “Buhari’s policies are particularly targeted at oppressing Nigerian youths from achieving their goals economically, educationally, politically and otherwise.”
The statement reads: ”There is indeed a thick conspiracy against the Nigerian youths aimed at holding her perpetually on the ground in all ramifications never to rise, but they will fail.
“It is on record that the All Progressives Congress, APC, raised the cost of her nomination/expression of interest form above the reach of the Nigerian youth.
“The Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of APC and PDP are all old men, and during elections, they will be coming to the youths to vote for them. This is retrogressive.
“In the Federal Executive Council, FEC made up of Ministers, there are no youths. The youths are completely excluded from the governance of our nation and scheme of things.
“If you are not old and moving with a walking stick, you are not allowed near this present administration. The gate pass or entry permit of this government is to be an old man or woman, and you will be given an opportunity to hold any political or elective office.
“The present administration gives opportunity to only old men and women. This is what has brought our nation today to her knees both economically, educationally and politically.
“Our youths join Boko Haram, ISWAP, bandits and kidnappers today because that is the only opportunity created for them by this present administration. Our youths were termed lazy youths by President Muhammadu Buhari in a speech outside the shores of Nigeria.
“The only place where this administration created the opportunity for our youths is in the world of crime and drug abuse using the instruments of hardship and unemployment which is created.
“All the bandits, kidnappers, Boko Haram and ISWAP are youths. Why? Because this administration does not want our youths near the corridors of power, governance or even in schools, the government has blatantly refused to resolve the ASUU strike so that our students, who are mostly youths, will remain in their homes doing nothing.
“We can now understand that the main purpose of this strike is to create room for our youths to be easily available for crime and drug abuse.
“Statistics have shown that the index of drug abuse has drastically increased because of the prolonged strike by our tertiary institutions.
“The bedrock of any nation is the youths. No nation can achieve greatness and success without the massive contributions of its youths.
“We, therefore, demand that the Federal Government should resolve the ASUU strike within the next 7 days so that our youths can go back to school.”