It is no longer news that some Nigerians with visitor’s visas have been arrested in Dubai for theft. It was alleged that they fled with about 2.3 million Dinars stolen from a bureau de change in Sharjah but they were apprehended by the Dubai police within 48 hours after the incident. The Commander-in-chief of the police force in Sharjah, Major-General Saif Al Zeri Al Shamsi said the entire amount stolen has been recovered and the suspects confessed to the crime.
The brazen criminal act is totally condemnable and just as Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa said it is despicable and shameful. Sadly, this incident may have a negative implication on other Nigerians who intend visiting the UAE for business or pleasure as Nigerians may now begin to undergo extra screening and sometimes humiliating procedures; like we don’t have enough on our plates already.
Currently, it is being rumoured that Nigerians are being denied three months of Dubai visa. Some said the visa validity has been restricted or reduced to one month and a couple of days only, while some platforms simply said they are no longer processing visas for Nigerian citizens. Shame.
That said, I believe we should all learn to see one another as one. Yes, we have diverse tribes and all but before we are Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa, we are Nigerians first. The recent comments and tweet fights about tribes are uncalled for. Associating a tribe with a crime is unreasonable. We need to understand that we are all seen as Nigerians by citizens of other countries. Not Hausa, not Igbo and certainly, not Yoruba.
The guys in question are all Igbos, which is a fact but not all Igbos travel out of Nigeria to steal. If all Igbos boys are labelled as thieves, then, all Yoruba boys should be probably labelled as internet fraudsters while the Hausas will be the bomb-making and terrorist tribe. This is just wrong.
Reacting to this, @DrJoeAbah in a tweet said, “59 years after independence, 49 years after we fought a war to stay together, some Nigerians are still stereotyping whole ethnic groups. “Hausa this”, “Igbos that”, “Yorubas the other.” When supposedly educated Youth do it, I am not sure we can still blame politicians. Sad.”
On the twitter handle of @realFFK, he said “I pity those rejoicing at the fact that the boys who were caught robbing a BureauDeChange in Dubai were Igbo. They fail to appreciate the fact that the rest of the world, including the Arabs, rightly view them as Nigerians and not Igbo and their behaviour is a reflection of us all.”
We need to put an end to this stereotyping. We are one. May God help Nigeria and Nigerians.
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