Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has recounted his experience of apartment hunting prior to his marriage. In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Osinbajo reflected on how his landlord in 1989 refused to rent him a property due to his ethnicity and occupation.
The Vice-President narrated how the elderly lawyer and landlord told him about the three categories of people he would not rent his property to: Igbos, Ijebus, and lawyers. As a result, Osinbajo was disqualified on two accounts. The landlord then boasted about having the power to destroy any tenant in court if they gave him trouble. However, he was later embarrassed to discover that Osinbajo was not only a lawyer but also an adviser to the Attorney General of the Federation at the time and an Ijebu.
Osinbajo used his experience to highlight the issue of prejudice and bias in society. He emphasized that everyone has prejudices and preferences that are reinforced by stories and narratives, which can affect their behavior and decision-making.
He said, “I have shared this story to illustrate a point that I think is hugely important, which is that prejudice and bias are natural aspects of human nature. It is easy to assume that prejudice is something that exists only in the minds of evil or intolerant people, but the truth is that we all have prejudices and preferences that are reinforced by stories and narratives.”
Osinbajo’s experience underscores the need for individuals and society as a whole to actively combat and overcome prejudices and biases in order to promote fairness and equality.