Stop harassing young Nigerians with laptops, FG tells security agencies

The Federal Ministry of Communications (FMC) has warned security agencies against recurrent harassment of young Nigerians in possession of computing devices, such as laptops and tablets.

This was disclosed in a statement on Tuesday by the ministry’s spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, on behalf of the Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami.

According to the Minister, if the trend goes unchecked, it will dampen the vigorous attempt at diversifying the economy.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications (FMC) has been drawn to reports of widespread harassment of young Nigerians with personal computers, tablets or phablets in public places.

“These reports indicate that young persons are generally regarded as fraudsters by officers of security agencies if found with such devices in their possession and subsequently subjected to varied forms of harassment and in some cases outright extortion.

“The Ministry notes with dismay, this unfortunate turn of events as we celebrate the growing and bubbling technology eco-system in Nigeria that enables young persons to learn various skills ranging from software engineering to varied forms of entrepreneurship by simply accessing online tools and content on these devices.”

The Ministry noted that although some persons engage in illegitimate activities with computers and similar devices, caution must be applied so as not to paint all young Nigerians with a similar brush.

“We understand the need for proactivity to protect the society, however this must be done credibly while recognising the fundamental human rights of every citizen of Nigeria. If these situation goes unchecked, it will dampen the vigorous attempt at diversifying the economy and rather push more young energies underground with catastrophic consequences,” the statement added.

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