Kerala Police Awareness Post Backfires with ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ Slur!

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Kerala Police were caught in an embarrassing situation when an ‘awareness’ poster was hurriedly taken down from its official page. The state’s cyber cell cops, unwittingly equated online ‘Nigerian scams’ with that nation itself!

To raise awareness on ‘advance-free-scams’ requesting money in the name of politicians and government authorities which have been on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kerala Police used images of actor Samuel Abiola Robinson who starred in ‘Sudani from Nigeria’, the much-acclaimed 2018 Malayalam movie about Nigerian footballers turning around the fortunes of a Malappuram ‘sevens’ team.

But the post backfired after Robinson protested vehemently against apparent racist prejudice. “Just because I’m a Nigerian doesn’t mean I’m a fraudster. Actually many scams are of Chinese or Vietnam origin and they just use Nigerian code names. I am not a fraudster and I don’t appreciate this. You are also not a RAPIST just because you are an Indian Man. Please stop generalizing these things. There are millions of Nigerians and billions of Indians. It’s not very constructive to assume that all are the same,” Robinson wrote in a bilingual post on his official social media account.

Ironically, the very title ‘Sudani from Nigeria’ signifies how people unconsciously, but dangerously, confuse ethnicities and origins, with football fans in the movie conveniently choosing to lump their star Nigerian player under a name commonly reserved for Africans in general. “I don’t appreciate my image and likeness being used for things such as this. While I appreciate the work that the Kerala Police does, I in no way support fraud from any country and I don’t appreciate being associated with it,” Robinson added in his post.

The official page of Kerala police has over 10 lakh followers and is hugely popular for its use of humour, memes and filmy dialogues to propagate awareness messages. Nodal officer of Kerala Police ‘cyberdome’ Manoj Abraham said that the post was deleted on Wednesday itself. Stating that the social media team of Kerala Police is open to corrections, he said “there is need to educate the public on scams”. Robinson recently moved to India to build his budding career.