Politics

BREAKING: Stereotyping Of Nigerians As Cyber Criminals Unacceptable – Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has deplored what he termed mislabelling and blanket stereotyping of Nigeria as a country with the highest prevalence of cybercrime and other forms of corrupt practices among its population, saying it undermines majority of the citizens maintaining the principles of integrity and diligence.
He regretted that over the years, the entire Nigerian populace had been linked with internet crimes without statistical proof, a development he said is out of tune with the way of life of the typical Nigerian citizen.
The president made the observation yesterday during a public engagement on “Youth, Religion, and the Fight Against Corruption”, as well as the launch of “Inter-Faith Manual and Fraud Risk Assessment Project for MDAs” at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

The event organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a multi-dimensional stakeholders’ involvement in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
The president who was represented at the event by Vice President Kashim Shettima, in a statement by his spokesman, Stanley Nkwocha noted that on the contrary, Nigerians are meticulous, authentic citizens who have been making significant contributions to innumerable fields of endeavours around the world.
“Over the decades, Nigerians have been victims of mislabelling. Such gross misrepresentation fails to reflect the true essence of our diverse and resilient nation. The association of internet crimes with the entire Nigerian populace lacks statistical evidence and does not align with the sociology of everyday Nigerians.
“Our nation comprises hardworking, honest citizens who contribute significantly to various fields globally, from Artificial Intelligence to medicine.

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“While we reject blanket stereotyping that undermines the majority upholding principles of integrity and diligence, we must face the fact that we function in an interconnected world where cybercrimes have evolved into a global phenomenon. This poses a threat not only to our nation but to the entire world,” Tinubu stated.
Delivering his speech titled, “Youth, Religion, and Our Battle Against Corruption: A Call to Action,” the president applauded the EFCC “for remaining a moral compass, persistently rousing the nation‘s conscience,” just as he said through its operations, the commission has remained vocal in “telling the world that Nigeria is neither complicit nor complacent in confronting the menace of corruption”.
Underscoring the urgency of combating internet crimes and neutralizing the threat caused by other forms of corruption head on, President Tinubu assured the anti-graft agency of “the government’s support in its quest to combat these digital offenses.

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“We must recognize that the Commission‘s lawful efforts to bring fraudsters to book are imperative for the overall well-being of our society. The government is aware that our ambitious goal of eradicating internet offenses and corruption demands an atmosphere steeped in trust and integrity. We must foster open communication channels and ensure that law enforcement actions align with justice and accountability,” he added.
The president also stressed the need to remind Nigerian youths that there are abundant opportunities for lawful enterprises, both within and outside the shores of the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of EFCC, Mr Ola Olukoyede, said the launch of the interfaith manuals and the Fraud Risk Assessment Project for MDAs are all geared towards engaging relevant and critical stakeholders in the reinvigorated anti-corruption fight in the country.
He said the prevalence of cybercrime and related activities involving youths is worrisome and necessitated the adoption of proactive measures by the commission under his watch.
The EFCC boss also spoke about the involvement of religious organisations in illicit activities, including money laundering and urged leaders across different groups to partner the commission by propagating messages that glorify the virtues of integrity, honesty and hard work.
In his goodwill message, the minister of justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), emphasized the significance of paying more attention to preventive measures in the renewed fight against corruption.
He urged religious leaders, traditional rulers, heads of tertiary institutions in the country and youth groups to take ownership of the reinvigorated anti-corruption crusade under the Tinubu administration.

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In separate remarks, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh; Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, were unanimous in their commendation of President Tinubu and the EFCC management for the administration’s avowed commitment to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Also present at the event were the chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Sen. Emmanuel Udende who represented the Senate President; minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu; chairperson of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami; chairman of Channels TV, Mr John Momoh; former minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, and some heads of government agencies and parastatals, among others.

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