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Crime, Nigerians And Questions of Identity

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ElevateNews takes a look at the list of Nigerian fraudsters released by FBI.

Let us not make mistake, the list of alleged fraudsters released by the FBI on Thursday are Nigerians not Igbo as many are being speculated.

The press statement signed by the United States Attorney, Nick Hanna said that many of the 80 on the list are Nigerians. It never mentioned whether they are Igbos, Ibiobios, Yorubas, Hausa, Ijaws, Kanuri, Fulanis or Nupes.

They are Nigerians and that 57 of them had been arrested and being prosecuted for allegedly taking money from their victims by false pretence.

Of course, the statement identified one Valentine Iro and Christogunus Igbokwe as the leaders of the alleged fraudsters, they may carry Igbo names, to the US government, these fraudsters are Nigerians and their case should not be politicized on the basis of their ethnic nationality.

One of them is Adegoke Moses Ogungbe. This name sounds clearly as Yoruba man but it must also be noted here that a fraudster can also scam his own name to perpetrate evil.

The fraudsters use the applications of Nigerian banks to do fraud with some foreign banks by wiring their victims’ money into those bank accounts.

Hanna statement did not mention an Igbo or Yoruba bank but a Nigerian bank. The attack on the former Deputy President of the Senate in Nuremberg, Germany last week by members of the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB was a clear assault by Igbo ethnic nationality but the German Government identified them as Nigerians.

One should not demonize any ethnic group when a crime is committed abroad, rather the problem should be addressed as a country. Here in Nigeria, a particular race, the Fulanis have been so demonized that any kidnapping case is tilted towards the herdsmen.

Truth be told, Yorubas are more involved in internet fraud, called ‘Yahoo Yahoo” in Nigeria. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrest as many as 100 youths in the southwest every week over internet frauds.

It is a Nigeria problem and it is due to the fact that the successive governments have failed to provide jobs for the growing population of youths. Nigerians are one of the most travelled people on earth with the highest percentage of them doing it illegally.

There is an image problem now. Nigerians who go on legitimate business face embarrassment at the various immigrations just because there are many who are also involved in illegal businesses and migration.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerians Diaspora Commission, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said that the Federal Government will extradite the Nigerians that were listed on the FBI list. How soon? There is the case of Senator Buruji Kashamu that has lingered.

He is a wanted man in the US but living like a king in Nigeria. This is a reflection of who we are as people. We make noise when it comes to debating religion and ethnicity. We compete about which ethnic group is the best and which religion is better, yet we narrow down the suspects of crime to a particular ethnic nationality.

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