In the article published on June 10 titled "Nigerian arrested by police after scam", the name of the culprit was not mentioned and thus a slight to all Nigerians. It was later found out that said culprit indeed is not Nigerian but from another African country. It has become a norm that any crime committed by a black man is attributed to Nigeria. Last week, three people were arrested for drug-related offences, after which the police were unleashed upon all the blacks leading to an arrest of around 23 people claimed to be Nigerians. The arrests continued and no fewer than 40 Africans, mostly Nigerians, have so far been arrested [but] most were found only to have overstayed their visas. This was reported in most of the dailies and on the Internet.
I would like to state as the president of the Nigerian Community Association of Cambodia that, as much as we acknowledge that there are few recalcitrant Nigerians in the country, the majority of Nigerians in Cambodia are not as bad as they are made to look. At a recent association meeting, we vehemently frowned upon the actions of the culprits and called on the authorities to bring to justice whomever is arrested for committing any criminal offenses. All those arrested and found innocent should thus be released. However, we wish to appeal to the general public and the host authorities to treat individuals who are found guilty on their merit rather than generalising. The press alike should endeavour to find out the identity of such offenders rather than using the nationality only.
Nigerians in Cambodia have been contributing positively to the country's development and we wish to continue to live in Cambodia in peace and harmony and, as such, will not harbour or tolerate anyone who is going to tarnish the image of our great country by breaking the laws of the Kingdom of Cambodia. We have so many Nigerians teaching in schools and universities, working for organisations and also doing legitimate business. Many Nigerians are playing football in the Cambodian league, and a host of others have come here to invest. The actions of a few deviants should thus not be used against the majority of the well-meaning citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria living in Cambodia.
Gabriel Ken, President
Nigerian Community Association of Cambodia
Editor's note: Gabriel Ken is a sportswriter for The Phnom Penh Post.
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