Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has lent his voice in the ongoing discourse about a mass exodus of the young Nigerian population to overseas in search of greener pastures, saying it is not the best.
While admitting that the country is a bit difficult for both the old and young people, he stated that the desire to travel outside the country as a means to achieve a better livelihood might not entirely be right but hard work instead.
He spoke on Saturday in a virtual discussion session with the Topic; “The Japa Rave amongst Nigerian Youths: Orji Kalu’s Thoughts” organised by the office of the Chief Whip of the Senate.
“Wherever people go, they think the best is to be outside Nigeria, its not the best. It’s just that we have refused to work hard, both young people and old people,
“This is not the way I started, I started very well as a young man, went to take palm oil from the South-East and go to the North. I went to buy beans, fish, cows, and all the rest from the North down to the South.
“People think there can be a Messiah today. There is nothing like Messiah, the best Messiah is hard work. People leaving this country is not the best idea. Rome was not built in a day,” he said.
The former Abia governor dismissed the insinuation that some of them who have made some fortunes in life attained their height through dubious means, saying hard work and resilience brought him to his status.
“Some of you (participants) are just growing up, some of you are 30 years because you see Orji Kalu, I went to be a governor of Abia state and so I became a thief. I have built industries since 1986, I was given Nigeria’s merit award in 1986, and the same year I built the vegetable oil company was when former President Ibrahim Babangida gave me a national award. To me, people should stick to what they want to do,” he said.
He called on leaders across the board to be positive and accountable to the people and drive equity.
The Abia North Senator said it has always been in his agenda to promote the welfare of young people, saying he mobilised the youths in Aba and Umuahia when he was governor and systemically built them through education, which he said formed the bedrock of success the state is recording in education today.