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“Nigeria, Not a Country of Criminals”—Interior Minister

…….Says Criminal Elements Less Than 1%

Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has once again debunked the popular yet unfounded narrative and perception that most Nigerian nationals are involved in, or have strong disposition towards crime and criminality.

He put a lie to the unfortunate narrative with a simple analysis on Saturday while challenging the agencies under his ministerial oversight to aspire to higher performance targets, as part of his opening remarks, at a retreat for top management officers of his ministry and its agencies.

To be sure, this perception has put many innocent, law abiding Nigerians in embarrassing situations like harrowing , disrespectful body searches at foreign airports, etc.

“I have always said we are not criminals in Nigeria and you look at the population of inmates in our correctional centres, I think over 70,000, right? And for a country of over 200m people, that is a small number. If my mathematics is right that is, of course less than 1 percent. 70,000 as a percentage of 200m comes to about 0.07 percent”, Tunji-Ojo said.

“The mantra, or the painting of Nigeria as a country of non-law-abiding citizens is a wrong one, it’s a wrong assumption,” he emphasized.

He continued,” The only problem is that based on a principle of 99 to 1, when you have a lousy 1 percent, where their actions are amplified, it will suppress the 99 percent good and quiet people. That’s the problem but the simple truth is that we are not criminals!
“And I tell you of that 70,000 the convicted may not be more than twenty to twenty-five thousand.”

He added that as part of efforts aimed at correcting this wrong perception an inmate audit exercise across all the correctional centres will commence soon.
The retreat which began on Friday evening at the Abuja Transcorp Hilton Hotel ended on Sunday

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