The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to go beyond just arresting suspected cybercriminals popularly known as ‘Yahoo Boys’, but to also rehabilitate them in order to put their potentials into good use.
The Ooni made the call during a visit by the EFCC delegation from the Southwest Zonal Office to his palace in Ile-Ife, on Wednesday.
Ogunwusi, who decried the alarming rate of cybercrimes among Nigerian youths, posited that some of the perpetrators were ignorant of their actions and the consequences.
“While I support your absolute clampdown on criminals in the private and public sectors, I will charge the commission to work on the rehabilitation of those found guilty, especially our youths caught committing cybercrimes.
“Engage them to let them know that you are not their enemy.
“Carry them along through your sensitisation programmes so that they will see reasons to join you in your attempt to create a better Nigeria.
“If you engage and utilise their potentials, you will spend less on fighting crimes,” the Ooni said.
He also urged the EFCC to step up its fight against corruption in order to uphold its goodwill, adding that the commission must be fair and seen to be fair by Nigerians.
“The best judgment is public opinion and that is why you must remain neutral in your operations.
“Politicians will come and go, Nigeria will remain and that is why you must not let politicians direct how you operate,” the monarch said.
Earlier, the Head of Ibadan Zonal Office of EFCC, Friday Elebo, had decried the high level of corruption in the country.
Elebo said that the commission under its National Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, had resolved to work with critical stakeholders, including the traditional institution.
“Kabiyesi, we are aware that you traditional rulers are the closest to the grassroots and that is why we are here to seek your support and collaboration in the fight against corruption.
“We need you as a voice to help us tell the youths that they can do better in life without indulging in cybercrimes.
“We recognise your vantage position in decision making in the country and that is why we have come to you,” Elebo said.