Diplomacy Rawlings says he's not backed Buhari's comments Nigerian youth are lazy

A statement from the former president's office said the reports are false and a creation of individuals who wish to use the former President of Ghana’s name for their own political interests.

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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has denied media reports that he has backed comments of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria that the nation's youth are lazy

A statement from the former president's office said the reports are "false and a creation of individuals who wish to use the former President of Ghana’s name for their own political interests."

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"The attention of the office of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, former President of Ghana, has been drawn to a post on various media, especially in Nigeria, professing his support for comments made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigerian youth," the statement noted.

It continued: "The office wishes to state that former President Rawlings has made no comment whatsoever or issued a statement on the comments by President Buhari.

"Any comments purportedly coming from Mr. Rawlings are false and a creation of individuals who wish to use the former President of Ghana’s name for their own political interests.

"All official statements or comments by Flt Lt Rawlings can be found on his Twitter handle @officeofJJR or his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/President.J.J.Rawlings/."

The Nigerian leader is facing backlash on social media following the remarks he made in reply to a question posed to him at the Commonwealth summit.

"We have a very young population. More than 60% of the population is below the age of 30. A lot of them haven't been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil-producing country, therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare, education free," Buhari said in reply.

Many Nigerians on social media interpreted the comments to mean he was branding the nation's youth as lazy.

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Using the hashtag #LazyNigerianYouth on social media, they expressed their anger with the comments, which many said did not reflect the entrepreneurial drive of young people in the country.

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