Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend cautioned against ethnic profiling in Nigeria, describing the trend as “a clear and present danger” to corporate existence of the country.
AbdulRazaq in Osogbo at the grand finale of the 2020 Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun State Council, said: “Ethnic profiling is a cancer that is a clear and present danger to the corporate existence of our country. It is a phenomenon that has led to loss of lives and destruction of property worth billions of naira.
“The fact that we speak different tongues or have different origins is not the problem. Differences are established facts of history. The problem has been a culture of negative profiling of one another on the basis of ethnicity. This leads to mutual distrust, unnecessary suspicion, hatred, unhealthy rivalry which eventually graduated to ethnic violence as we have seen in various parts of our country.”
The governor, who was the keynote speaker at the event, urged the media to lead the battle against ethnic profiling.
AbdulRazaq was represented at the event by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Ethnic profiling and threat to national cohesion’, the governor said no particular ethnic group has the patent for any specific bad conducts, and urged Nigerians to desist from blaming people’s bad conducts on their origins or religions.
“No tribe is bad. None is created to be bad. What makes a person bad is not their ethnicity. What makes a person bad is a set of anti-social behaviours that hurts everyone, including persons from their own ethnic group. Every ethnic group has its good, bad, and the ugly. So, what is bad is not the ethnicity of any individual or suspected criminal, it is the anti-social behaviour such persons have exhibited to the detriment of the larger society,” he added.
The governor also urged Nigerians to take up the responsibility of stopping ethnic profiling and promote things that help to strengthen national unity and development of the country.
“As a country, we need to urgently navigate away from seeing whatever happens in this country or action taken by government at any level from the prisms of ethnicity. It is a dangerous voyage which does no one any good. Rather, it veils us from seeing things from fair and balanced perspective or appreciating whatever benefits derivable from such efforts,” AbdulRazaq said.