Senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has accused the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami of embarking on dangerous ethnic profiling, and evoking dangerous ethnic fault lines with his decision to compare spare parts business to open grazing of cattle.
Malami had while opposing the decision of Southern governors to ban open grazing, said it was same as Northern governors deciding to ban spare parts business, a trade undertaken by mostly people of Igbo extraction.
Reacting to the Attorney General’s comment in a statement by his media aide, Uchenna Awom, Abaribe wondered if there is a correlation between cattle grazing and spare parts business, to have warranted such comparison.
The Abia South senator pointed out that while the Fulani and Hausa people dominate bureau de change business all over the country, nobody has raised any issues with them.
“While the local ‘bureau de change’ business mostly done by the Fulani are operating in all parts of Nigeria, why have they not elicited any resentment from other Nigerians?” Abaribe wondered.
“It is simply because they live and do their business peacefully without any problem. It is the murderous activities of Fulani herders that have given rise to the current demand for laws that will bring about peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians.
“What’s the correlation between spare parts sellers in a rented shop or government properly designated area and marauding Fulani herders destroying farms, killing and raping thus trampling on people’s private properties and means of livelihood?”
The senator warned that, “Such a divisive statement from a top federal government official, infact the Chief legal adviser to the federal government at that, exposes a very dangerous mindset . This disposition has no doubt raised tensions in Nigeria to a frightening level.
“Why should an Attorney General of the federation be so fixated in evoking ethnic/regional fault lines when duty calls for him to be a statesman. It is disheartening that Mr Abubakar Malami has chosen to debase our country. He has indeed questioned Nigeria’s unity. Very unfortunate.”