The ‘Japa’ Syndrome

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Nowadays, many persons are looking for the next available opportunity to leave the the country. The country we all swore allegiance to is the same country we are running from. Some are gone already through relatives already settled there, while many are leaving everyday through scholarships.

And everyday I hear one ‘japa’ talk or the other. I ask myself, has my country deteriorated so badly?
Nigeria, as a third world country is very much underdeveloped. But as at independence, Nigeria had beautiful prospects. Patriotic leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and the likes.
National income was booming from agriculture and crude oil. The leadership structure was not yet perfect, but had high prospects of being one of the best in Africa.

What about the military? Oh! My country’s military was full of Patriots who were ready to die for the country. In every side, Nigeria was a beautiful and well structured country. Even with our diversity in culture, ethnicity and religion. A country with over 750 ethnic groups still remained indivisible. There was religious and ethnic tolerance, even intermarriage amongst ethnic groups.

The nation’s economy was booming from agriculture and crude oil. We had the groundnut pyramids from the north, the palm oil from the central like Kogi State. International trade was at its peak and the standard of living was comfortable for an average Nigeria.

What then happened, O giant of Africa? How did we generate to this point of insecurity and terrorism? How did the claws of corruption grip us so badly? How did our booming economy plunge into the pit of recession? How come? Now everyone wants to ‘japa’?

Nevertheless, I believe in my country Nigeria. I believe in our motto, unity and faith, peace and progress. I believe my country can be better again. So when next you see an opportunity to leave, don’t jump on it yet.

You can choose to stay let’s build this country together. Because together we are still the GIANT OF AFRICA!

– Muhammed Jemila
Student of Mass Communication Department,
Prince Abubakar Audu University Anyigba, Kogi State.


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