The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, has revealed that Nigeria has always been deeply divided even before President Muhammadu Buhari became the country’s leader.
The Presidential Spokesman said this on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Wednesday, September 16, in response to the comments made by Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to him, in a country of 200 million people, it would be impossible for everyone to agree and perceive things the same way.
He said, “Nigeria had always been divided. Always. Right from amalgamation in 1914, Nigeria has always been divided. Nigeria is an inconvenient amalgamation but we have worked at it and I tell you that there is no time in the history of this country that the country was not divided but then we had kept at it and we were trying to make it work. As of 2015, when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly, terribly divided; divided along religious lines, divided along ethnic lines; divided along language, divided hopelessly, terribly and that is the division that the President had been working at. But you see that a lot of people instead of letting harmony return to this country, thrive and luxuriate in widening the gulf. They play politics with everything.”
Mr Adesina stated that the government had huge respect for Prof Soyinka. However, it would not accept everything he says. He further added that Soyinka had been a government critic for decades and had even criticized Buhari when he was a military head of state in the 1980s. According to him, Soyinka did not support Buhari in 2015 but only tagged him as slightly better than Jonathan.
While giving his opinion on the criticisms fired at Buhari by Obasanjo, Adesina pointed out that the former President had been critical of every past government and so his recent statement would be taken with a grain of salt.
He said, “There is no government he has not criticized. The only government he has not criticized is the Olusegun Obasanjo government. So, that kind of person has a right to air his opinion and you also have a right to take it or not to take it.”