The former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has explained the reasons he would not encourage the emigration of Nigerians popularly called Japa.
Amaechi while speaking on the Arise Television programme on Saturday said ‘japa’ could only get someone a 9 to 5 job (usually used to describe a work arrangement where employees report to workplaces at 9 am and leave at 5 pm. These jobs mostly involve working five days a week in an office setting).
He maintained that staying back in Nigeria could get one into a political office while advising young people in the country to push their way through to get into a place of decision-making, especially regarding the economy of Nigeria.
The former Rivers State governor said, “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.
“If you are looking for opportunity, please stay back in Nigeria but if you are looking for 9-5, safety and others, you can leave the country.”
Amaechi further stated that his fear of God stands him out from among other elites and politicians in the country.
“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.
“When you are wrong, you say you are sorry. I choose to be honest all my life. I don’t want to be politically correct and if diplomacy means lying, then I won’t lie. The best or worst you can get of me at that particular time is to walk away from that place instead of lying,” he stressed.
When questioned about his political career, Amaechi refused to give a response.
Amaechi served as Minister of Transportation of Nigeria from 2015 to 2022 in the administration of former President, Muhammadu Buhari. He resigned and contested the presidential primary under the ruling All Progressives Congress but lost to Bola Tinubu who went on to win the presidential election.