For a while now, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has continued to reiterate its’ unbending stand on fighting corruption and the fraudulent practices that have developed strong skeletons within our existing socio-political institutions.
In the past three years, news of the homes and safe houses of active and former government officials in reputable archways of power getting ransacked and discovered of copious amounts of money have dominated the base of our most topical conversations. And while these officials are often charged and put on trial, these proceedings run for so long that it gets forgotten.
Also prominent on the commission’s list has been the (often indiscriminate) arrest of internet fraudsters and yes, this is pertinent to restoring the country’s weak reputation and will help in deterring young Nigerians, coming up from participating in this heinous act. There is however, the place of how these arrests are carried out and the system that enables the necessity of that reality.
To begin with, internet fraudsters are not features of a standalone problem. The prominence of young Nigerians persistently indulging in this crime despite the vicious and often dehumanizing arrests the EFCC carries out speaks to an integral problem everyone is talking about, but to which no solutions are being provided. It wouldn’t be farfetched to tie this systemic neglect in with the way these young people are perceived and ultimately treated.
The recent arrest of 89 boys partying in Ibadan is a prime example. While the viability of these arrests are highly doubtful, what is more saddening is the fact that these boys, some of who may actually be innocent can be easily lumped into a dreadful situation and possibly go to jail for a widespread crime many turn to in a bid to survive.
These dehumanizing arrests that are carried out sucks but if leaned against the dignity top government officials are allowed when getting apprehended, it only makes sense that these people be allowed the same right. And while we are at it, the need to start seeing these young Nigerians and what they do, no matter how deplorable, that it is only a sign off a deeper social issue that needs immediate attention.