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Why weaponising ethnic, religious biases for politics can be destructive – Osinbajo

VICE-President Yemi Osinbajo has spoken out against the weaponisation of ethnic and religious prejudices and stereotypes for political gain.

Osinbajo shared his insight on Monday at the maiden edition of the Policy Making and Good Governance Lecture Series of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) titled ‘Creating a Homeland for All: Nation-building in a Diverse Democracy’.

Sharing an excerpt of his speech on Twitter Wednesday, the Vice-President spoke about a personal experience from decades ago to illustrate the nature of biases.

“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 said.

“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.”

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Naija Times