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Tackling the ‘Japa’ Syndrome: A Comprehensive Approach



In the ever-evolving landscape of societal challenges, the ‘Japa’ syndrome has emerged as a phenomenon that demands our immediate attention. Coined from the Yoruba slang ‘Japa,’ which means to escape or flee, this term refers to the massive emigration of Nigerians to other countries through various means. Dr. Joseph Ochogwu, the Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), has identified trust-building as a fundamental solution to address this complex issue.

Understanding the ‘Japa’ Syndrome


The ‘Japa’ syndrome reflects a widespread sentiment among Nigerians, often driven by a desire for better opportunities, security, or quality of life. It manifests as a mass exodus of individuals seeking greener pastures in foreign lands. While this phenomenon may seem like a personal choice, its implications go beyond individual decisions, affecting the nation’s fabric as a whole.

The Significance of Trust Building


Dr. Ochogwu’s perspective on tackling the ‘Japa’ syndrome revolves around the idea of trust. He emphasizes that escaping one’s homeland does not offer a lasting solution because Nigeria will always remain the homeland of its citizens. Regardless of where they go, they will forever be recognized as Nigerians, and this connection to their heritage is undeniable.

Trust, according to Dr. Ochogwu, plays a pivotal role in this context. To combat the ‘Japa’ syndrome effectively, it is essential to focus on rebuilding trust within the nation. Leaving the country may seem like an escape, but it is ultimately an unsustainable solution. Nigeria is not just a piece of land; it is a collective heritage that binds its people together.

Renewing Hope: A Collective Effort


In these challenging times, the need for renewed hope is paramount. Dr. Ochogwu emphasizes that this renewal can only be achieved by the collective efforts of individuals, society, and the nation as a whole. Building trust within the nation is the first step towards achieving this goal.

The Role of Citizens in Nation-Building

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) firmly believes that the responsibility of building a nation lies with its citizens. It is the citizens who breathe life into a nation, and without them, a country ceases to exist. Therefore, it becomes imperative to build a nation that future generations can proudly call their own.

Collaborative Efforts for a Stronger Nigeria

To put an end to the ‘Japa’ syndrome, collaboration among relevant stakeholders is crucial. Dr. Ochogwu emphasizes that if this issue is not addressed promptly, the younger generation may lose faith in Nigeria, leading to severe consequences for the nation’s future.

The Power of the Media

In the quest to combat the ‘Japa’ syndrome, the media plays a pivotal role. Dr. Ochogwu underscores that the media serves as a mind control system for every nation, influencing people’s beliefs and ideologies. It is, therefore, essential for the media to contribute positively to changing the narrative of Nigeria.

Promoting a Positive Image

While it is essential to inform the public about issues, Dr. Ochogwu stresses the importance of presenting solutions. Merely projecting Nigeria as a hopeless nation will only further erode the faith of its citizens. It is imperative to highlight the positive aspects of Nigerian society and the nation as a whole.

Embracing Resilience and Positivity

Despite the challenges that Nigeria faces, there is much to celebrate. Dr. Ochogwu encourages Nigerians to embrace the resilience that characterizes their nation. While difficulties persist, the spirit of the people and their determination to find happiness amidst challenges is a testament to the enduring hope that lies within.

A Brighter and Prosperous Nation


In conclusion, Dr. Joseph Ochogwu’s insights shed light on the path to addressing the ‘Japa’ syndrome. Trust-building, collective efforts, and a positive media narrative are the cornerstones of this endeavor. By looking beyond the negativity and working together for a better and more prosperous Nigeria, we can ensure that our nation thrives for generations to come.


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