OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA
March 30, 2016
To The People Of Nigeria
We live in an increasingly integrated world that the Internet has provided.
For the developing world, the Internet has brought to you all the benefits of full participation, instant access to information and the world’s entertainment, ideas for business and innovation, and the opportunities to be global citizens. The Internet, just like the revolutions in agriculture and industrialization has enabled countries like Nigeria to stabilize, grow, and prosper.
However, it has also brought a plague that has originated from within your borders and is now being exported to the rest of the world. We are talking about Internet Crime, so popularized by the “Yahoo Boys” and their brethren of Internet Gangsters from Nigeria.
Not only have these criminals forever cast Nigeria as a haven for these online thugs, but they threaten your very future in a multitude of ways. What is saddest, is that is seems from the perspective of the outside world, that Nigeria loves its corruption and criminals. This tolerance of crime of this type colors everything the rest of the world does and how it will interact with Nigeria in the future. For most citizens in North America and Europe, Nigeria is synonymous with online crime, a constant joke that drains billions of dollars and ruins innocent lives. These criminals in Nigeria (and to be fair, also in the rest of Western Africa) delight in the theft of the monies they steal and give no thought to the lives left broken.
Your government is also viewed as a joke around the world for its failure to do anything meaningful to stop this crime wave emanating from your borders. Thousands of people are involved in these criminal enterprises, that leave clear paper trails through bank and money transfers, yet barely a handful are arrested each year. This clearly tells the rest of the world that Nigeria hasn’t the will or the desire to stop this scourge. So it must have their support.
Western governments do what they can, and arrest those accused of online crimes as they enter our borders, but this is a drop in the bucket. So enterprising groups, organizations, and individuals are soon going to take the matter into their own hands. These movements should not come as a surprise, since your nation has brought this upon itself.
As we go into a new election cycle in the United States of America, with a strong move towards conservatism, we expect to see a number of initiatives move forward quickly, including:
- Elimination of all aid to Nigeria by the United States.
- Boycott of oil products from Nigeria by consumers
- Boycott of all tourism to Nigeria by consumers
- Blacklisting of Nigerian customers from online retailers in the United States and Europe
- Vast reduction of visas allowing Nigerians to travel to the United States and other Western Countries
- Expansion of arrests of Nigerian citizens entering Western countries
- Civil litigation in the United States against the Republic of Nigeria, and Nigerian businesses and individuals by class-action groups of your country’s victims
Your Nigerian criminals, and the populace and government that support and tolerate them, will come to find that as you love your Yahoo Boys, the rest of the world views your entire country as a criminal enterprise. It is up to each of you to change this perception. It is up to law-abiding Nigerian citizens to demand that your government stop this corruption before it forever harms your goodwill with the rest of the world. But time is short, and sanctions can follow rapidly and without warning.
Today, there are a number of sanctions, actions, and major multi-billion dollar lawsuits being prepared or contemplated in the United States. If these go forward, it will allow seizures of assets from both government and private companies that have collaborated or enabled Nigeria’s online criminal enterprises. These are serious threats to Nigeria’s future wellbeing and should be considered carefully.
We are a voice for tens of thousands of your victims throughout the world. You are advised to pay careful attention to this voice before it becomes an unstoppable force.
We encourage the government of Nigeria to take the following actions to control these criminals – both individuals and gangs – before it is too late:
- Shut down all Cyber Cafes or services where criminal activities take place
- Force Internet Service Providers to suspend all access to the Internet for criminal activities
- Develop an independent police force for enforcement of online crimes
- Write new laws that prohibit all online crime with penalties equal to the damage caused
- Require money transfer agents to declare to the government all international transactions with full identification of the persons involved (this will allow taxation as well benefiting your country greatly)
- Show a real and sustained willingness to enforce your laws against cybercriminals
- Deny travel to persons suspected of criminal activities
- Have your ambassadors add a liaison officer to your major embassies for coordination of international criminal enforcement, and support for victims of Nigerian online criminals
- Have your country’s government offer an apology to the victims of the world who have suffered at the hands of your criminal thugs
These are not unreasonable requests, and represent a real solution to this ever-growing problem of Nigerian online crime that your country exports.
We hope that this open letter is published and that your people will understand the magnitude of the problem that your government has allowed for far too long.
We know that the vast majority of Nigerians are wonderful people, but a small few can destroy for the many, and as the war comes closer you are going to need your friends in the west. Don’t let your Yahoo Boys destroy the relationships and goodwill that may be needed to save your country in the future!
SCARS -Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams
for The Victims Of Nigerian Internet Criminals