The Nigerian Presidency yesterday, September 16, countered verbal attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari by Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, saying Nigeria inherited a “terribly” divided country from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, in 2015.
The Special Adviseer to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said there was nothing special about what the Nobel Laureate and former President Olusegun Obasanjo said because Nigeria had always been divided.
Speaking when he featured as a guest on ‘Politics Today’, a Channels Television programme, Adesina noted that there is no way everyone would agree and perceive things the same way in a country of 200million people, noting that every criticism should give cause for concern.
The Presidential spokesman stated: “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.”
Adesina pointed out that in as much as the Buhari administration continues to respect Soyinka as a Nobel Laureate, it would not accept everything he says, recalling that Soyinka who has been a government critic for decades had even criticised Prsident Buhari when he was a military head of state in the 80’s.
He also recalled that in 2015, Soyinka did not support Buhari but only tagged him as slightly better than Jonathan.
For Obasanjo, the presidential spokesman said it appeared the former Nigerian leader was still not happy that Buhari won the election regardless of his opposition to his second term bid.
Adesina noted that the presidency was not bothered by Obasanjo’s recent outburst because he had been critical of every past.
“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,” he stated.