Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, says right from amalgamation, Nigeria has been a divided country.
Speaking during a Channels TV programme on Wednesday Adesina said the division in the country predates the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was reacting to comments made by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and Wole Soyinka, playwright and Nobel laureate, who said that Nigeria is more divided than ever before.
But defending the president, Adesina described Nigeria as an inconvenient amalgamation which has always been divided.
“Nigeria had always been divided right from amalgamation in 1914. Nigeria is an inconvenient amalgamation but we have kept at it and we have worked at it,” Adesina said.
“And I tell you that there is no time in the history of this country that the country was not divided. But then, we have kept at it and we are trying to make it work.
“As at 2015 when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly divided; divided along ethnic, religious and political lines; divided along language; divided hopelessly and terribly.”
The presidential spokesman, who said the current administration has been making efforts to unite the country, accused some people of “playing politics with everything.”
“That is the division that President Buhari has been working at. But you see that a number of people, instead of letting harmony return to this country, thrive and luxuriate in widening the gap between Nigerians. They play politics with everything,” he said.
“So, if they say Nigeria is divided today, it is because Nigeria has always been divided. And all efforts to unite Nigeria and Nigerians never worked.
“When Nigerians come to a decision point that we must live together, we can’t wish anybody away, then we will be working towards being a nation.”