A hashtag- #IAmANigerianNotACriminal, is currently trending on Twitter, this is because of the comments of President Muhammadu Buhari, in a recent interview with the Telegraph UK.
The President was quoted to have advised Nigerians against seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, noting that the country’s reputation for criminality ‘has made it hard for them to be accepted abroad’.
Buhari said the motivating factor behind the decision of some Nigerians to join the migrant exodus to Europe- were purely economical, and not necessarily because of the dangers associated with remaining in Nigeria.
The report quotes the President as saying: “Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking.”
“I don’t think Nigerians have anybody to blame. They can remain at home, where their services are required to rebuild the country. We have an image problem abroad and we are on our way to salvage that.”
Meanwhile, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has lashed out at the President over the generalizing and labelling of Nigerians as being involved in crime.
While stating on his Twitter page that he is not a criminal, the Senator representing Bayelsa East constituency, said Nigerians are hardworking, honest people. Murray-Bruce said: “Why will a President go abroad to say with his own mouth that his own people have a reputation for crime?”.
His subsequent series of tweets sparked off the hashtag- which resonated with many Nigerians on Twitter.