A former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described his recent interview with the British Broadcasting corporation in which he reportedly condemned visa issuance to Nigerians by foreign embassies as a deliberate misrepresentation.
According to some media reports on Saturday, the Senator representing Ogun Central, during the interview, described foreign countries as “wicked” for encouraging the emigration of Nigerian youths in large numbers.
Amosun, in a statement signed by his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, on Sunday, said the choice of the word “wicked” was the reporter’s and not his.
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.”