Japa mentality: I didn’t call western nations wicked – Amosun

The former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, has said he never described western nations as wicked in an interview with BBC.

The former governor was quoted by several media houses as saying that western nations were wicked for encouraging the Japa mentality among Nigerians by issuing visas to them.

This was denied by Amosun in a statement signed by his media aide following a backlash from Nigerians over the weekend.

The statement read in part, “Some media reports, including the online portals, had claimed Amosun, in his BBC interview, condemned western nations for encouraging the emigration of Nigerians in large numbers, by granting visas to young citizens, a development he was misquoted as saying was ‘wicked.’

“The Ogun Central Senator, therefore, contended that his major concern was core professionals like medical doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants, who were leaving the country in droves with their families because such could open the country to greater challenges.

“Although the former governor described the countries encouraging such exodus without considering the fate of Nigeria as unfair, the choice of the word ‘wicked’ was purely the reporter’s and not his.

“Thus, while commenting on the ‘japa phenomenon,’ Amosun reiterated what he said, ‘I have heard about it and the reports are scary. All youths and young talents are travelling out of Nigeria, seeking greener pastures and the prospective countries are deliberately giving them visas to leave the country without putting the origin country into consideration.’

“Amosun further contended that, what made the reports inaccurate and a deliberate damage, was the fact that he too had been sponsoring young people, who desired to further their studies abroad and has not ceased to write to different embassies in support of their applications, because he believed in their decisions to study abroad to further equip them.”

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