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Malami Clarifies Why He Used Hausa To Announce Kanu’s Arrest

Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Nigeria's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Nigeria's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

July 01, (THEWILL) – Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday, tackled the controversy over his use of Hausa language when he announced the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Some Nigerians, who saw the viral video clip where the Minister spoke in Hausa language, condemned Malami, saying his actions gave preference to one ethnic group over others.

However, speaking with newsmen, Umar Gwandu, the Minister’s spokesperson, said his principal first addressed the media in English language but later spoke in Hausa following the request of international media stations, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) who broadcast their programmes in Hausa.

He said after speaking in English, the stations had appealled to the Minister to also speak in Hausa language for the effect of soundbite.

He explained: “If you have any journalist who attended the Press Conference, you can call him to verify. He (Malami) first spoke in English language but because there was BBC Hausa and other international media stations that broadcast their programmes in Hausa language at that Press Conference, these stations asked for inserts because of the essence of soundbite: and the Minister obliged them by speaking in Hausa. Radio station is different from newspaper or television.

“The Minister spoke in Hausa, which is one of the three major languages in Nigeria because he understood and can speak the language. He would have done the same if he can speak Igbo and Yoruba too. Non-English speakers should not be denied access to news,” he said.