IBADAN, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Nigerians on Twitter are dragging the Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo over his recent post on ethnic or religious prejudices.
According to the Vice-President, these two prejudices are weaponized for political purposes, and “we are confronted with a lethal potentially destructive situation”.
The VP took to his Twitter handle on Wednesday morning to narrate an experience he had in 1989 when he was about to get married and was searching for accommodation.
He said: “In 1989, I was about to get married and I was searching for a good house to rent. I met my landlord, an elderly lawyer who obviously did more real estate than legal practice.
“He let me know that there were 3 categories of people he would not rent the property in his care to Ijebus, Igbos and Lawyers. I was disqualified on two accounts.
“He then said to me, pointing behind him in a few shrivelled-up books on a small bookshelf, that he had the arsenal to destroy any tenant in court if I gave him any trouble.
“He later, to his embarrassment, discovered that I was a Law teacher and adviser to the then Attorney General of the Federation and that of course, I am also Ijebu.
“I share this to illustrate the point that prejudice and bias are natural aspects of human nature. Everyone has prejudices and preferences that are reinforced by stories and narratives.
“Prejudice is a function of the environment in which one is socialised and the level of exposure that one has. These stereotypes are of course, by the very nature of stereotypes, wild generalisations that are unlikely to hold up if empirical tests are conducted.
“Sometimes, we repeat stories so many times that they are soon accepted as facts. When we accept these stories as facts, we shape our judgment of others and entrench bias and prejudice.
“However, when ethnic or religious prejudices are weaponised for political purposes, we are confronted with a lethal potentially destructive situation.”
His post didn’t sit well with many netizens, some laid curses on him over his silence on ethnic and religious bigotry happening in the country.
Reacting to his tweets, a tweep @lamidex2 said: “Basically, it leads to division and conflict within society, as well as the marginalization and oppression of certain groups. Demonizing other tribes creates hate and intolerance. This is exactly what happened in Lagos state under @jidesanwoolu.”
“We’re expecting your book titled “Tied Hands” or “VP Academics”
“Thank you Sir,” another tweep @chymaker wrote, while @EboEmakhu on his part said Osinbajo should resign and speak freely if he is so bound to silence because of office.
“Because at this point, it’s giving writer!
“There are super pressing economic, social and political issues affecting the country he’s serving as VP, and we’re getting talks about his marriage in 1989?
“Like resign and speak freely if you’re so bound to silence because of office!” he wrote.
@okwutechidi tweeted: “The same ethnic and religious prejudices your party weaponised and you didn’t say anything.. history will never be kind to you.”
@aluyapetermary who is unhappy with the Vice President’s indifference towards the killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna, called on God’s wrath over him and his party APC.
In his own words as written in Yoruba: “@ProfOsinbajo Oga Igbakeji Aare se o tun wa ni orile-ede yii bi? O dakẹ lori awọn kristeni mimọ ni Southern Kaduna. O ṣe aibikita ati wo awọn kristeni ti a pa. Ah kii yoo dara fun ọ oh. Iwọ ati ẹgbẹ rẹ APC, gbogbo ero buburu yin ni ibinu Ọlọrun yoo fi san pada.”