The presidency on Wednesday reacted to the criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Soyinka had in a statement on Tuesday corroborated ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s position on the state of the nation.
He said the country was divided as never before under President Buhari’s leadership.
But in his reaction, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Femi Adesina, said Buhari inherited a terribly divided country from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
Adesina, who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said Nigeria had always been divided and there was nothing special about the comments made by Obasanjo and Soyinka.
The presidential aide said the playwright had been a government critic for decades and had even criticised Buhari when he was a military ruler in the 1980s.
According to him in a country of over 200 million people, it would be impossible for everyone to see things the same way.
Adesina said: “Nigeria had always been divided. 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.”
On Obasanjo, he said the former President was still upset that Buhari won the 2019 election despite his opposition to his second term bid.
He noted that the former military ruler had been critical of every past government, saying his recent statement would not bother the presidency.
“There is no government he has not criticised. The only government he has not criticised 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,” Adesina added.