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Amaechi’s Candid Stand: Why He Won’t Promote ‘Japa’ – Encourages Nigerian Youth to Stay

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Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has outlined the reasons behind his reluctance to encourage the emigration of Nigerians, popularly referred to as ‘Japa.’ Amaechi, known for his straightforward approach, shared his insights during an interview on the Arise Television programme.

The term ‘Japa’ has gained notoriety as a slang for leaving Nigeria in search of better opportunities abroad. It often implies seeking refuge from the country’s economic challenges and uncertainties.

Amaechi challenged the concept of ‘Japa,’ suggesting that it could primarily lead individuals to 9 to 5 jobs, a phrase commonly used to describe traditional office employment with regular working hours.

In his perspective, staying in Nigeria presents a unique path towards political leadership and economic prosperity. Amaechi encouraged young people in the country to navigate their way into positions of decision-making, particularly concerning Nigeria’s economy.

“I have always discouraged people who want to leave the country. I say 9-5 is the job you can get. You may not get the opportunity we get in Nigeria. You can just wake up one day and you are already a minister or a governor. It just happens,” Amaechi expressed.

He highlighted the unpredictability and speed at which opportunities in political leadership can arise in Nigeria, drawing a contrast to the more structured and predictable 9-to-5 jobs abroad.

Amaechi’s convictions stem from his deeply held belief in honesty and his strong moral compass. He asserted that his fear of God sets him apart from many other elites and politicians in Nigeria. He emphasized his commitment to speaking the truth, even in the face of adversity.

“The difference between me and most Nigerian elites is that I say things the way it is and I say it unknowingly. It is the way God has brought me up, and I will tell you the truth even if you put a gun on my head. I’ve always believed that the reason I acquired that character is because of my fear of God. I’ve always believed that I should go to heaven, and one way to do that is to be honest with mankind and with yourself,” he declared.

Amaechi’s unwavering dedication to honesty has earned him a reputation for forthrightness and candor in a political landscape often characterized by diplomacy and equivocation.

When questioned about his own political career, Amaechi chose not to provide a response, leaving room for speculation about his future plans.

Rotimi Amaechi served as the Minister of Transportation of Nigeria from 2015 to 2022 in the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari. After resigning from his ministerial position, Amaechi contested the presidential primary under the ruling All Progressives Congress but lost to Bola Tinubu, who ultimately won the presidential election.

In his candid stand against ‘Japa,’ Amaechi echoes the sentiment that Nigeria holds immense potential for its youth in terms of political leadership and economic growth, encouraging them to explore these opportunities within the country.

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