Lukman bemoaned a situation whereby very respected citizens including political leaders, scholars, civil society activists, religious and tribal leaders are fund of taking sides based on the need to defend their ethnic groups anytime there is a clash between two ethnic groups in the country.
The PGF boss said there was no way there would be any solution to the problem of ethnic hatred when everyone is a warrior and warlord defending his/her claimed ethnic group.
He urged the party to consider taking all the necessary steps to ensure that ethnic bullies and warlords are disqualified from emerging as leaders at all levels.
The APC chieftain was speaking against the backdrop of the reported clash between Hausas and Yoruba traders in Sasha, Ibadan on Thursday, February 12, 2021, which led to the loss of lives and valuable property.
According to him, the crisis was triggered by the avoidable circumstance of a Hausa man conveying tomatoes, which accidentally dropped in front of the kiosk of a Yoruba woman and instead of picking all the tomatoes, the Hausa man decided to pick only the good ones and left the bad ones littered in front of the kiosk of the Yoruba woman.
He said this made the Yoruba woman go after the Hausa man insisting that he should go back and pack everything.
“What then followed was exchanges leading to another avoidable situation whereby the same Hausa man allegedly hit a Yoruba shoemaker, Sakirundeen Adeola alias Korex who started foaming and had to be taken to hospital and later died. This led to the destruction of vehicles, kiosks, shops, houses, and various structures on Friday, February 13, 2021,” Lukman narrated.
The PGF DG expressed worry that the Sasha incidence has further inflamed ethnic tension in the country, particularly at a time when the issue of banditry and criminal conducts of individuals in the guise of herdsmen dominated public discussion in the nation.
“All the debate now is no longer about the bad conduct of the tomatoes’ carrier but about Hausa/Fulanis vs Yorubas. Could any Hausa/Fulani person have accepted the bad conduct of the tomatoes’ carrier in Sasha?
“Throughout Saturday, February 13, 2021, almost all discussions on social media platforms in Nigeria became a debate between so-called Hausa/Fulani (North) and Yoruba (South). It is no longer about the bad conduct of a stupid man in Sasha,” he said.
Lukman worried that political parties
would continue to candidates who are ethnic bullies and warlords for elections if they fail to engage in proper debating and taking all the necessary steps to produce leaders who are committed to the unity of the country founded on peaceful co-existence based on justice.
He added that once candidates are ethnic bullies and warlords, the political competition will continue to be characterized by violence.