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.
This, he said, undermines the majority of the citizens’ ability to maintain the principles of integrity and diligence.
The President stated this on Wednesday during a public engagement on youth, religion, and the fight against corruption, as well as the launch of the inter-faith manual and fraud risk assessment project for ministries, departments, and agencies.
The event organized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was a multi-dimensional stakeholder involvement in the fight against economic and financial crimes.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications, Stanley Nkwocha, said in a statement issued on Wednesday that Tinubu 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, who was represented at the event by Vice President Kashim Shettima, noted that, on the contrary, Nigerians are meticulous, authentic citizens who have been making significant contributions to innumerable fields of endeavor around the world.
He said: “Over the decades, Nigerians have been victims of mislabelling. Such a 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.
“While we reject blanket stereotyping that undermines the majority upholding the 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.”
Underscoring the urgency of combating internet crimes and neutralizing the threat caused by other forms of corruption, President Tinubu assured the anti-graft agency of the government’s support in its quest to combat these digital offenses.
“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.