The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has admitted that the level of insecurity in the country has put the nation in “dire times”
He, however, said the government was not overwhelmed by the challenges such as terrorism, banditry, militancy, kidnapping and other crises.
However, Adesina blamed the insecurity on previous corrupt administrations.
The President’s aide, in a chat with ‘The Interview’ magazine, said, “The security challenges are enormous. Insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, communal strifes, criminality generally.
“These are truly dire times, and as the President has said, they are results of the corruption, decay and neglects of the past.
“But is the government overwhelmed? By no means. The challenges are being tackled, and we will eventually overcome. Nigeria is greater than the challenges, no matter the hidden hostile hands that are encouraging them. The country shall be victorious.”
Adesina also admitted that Nigeria was deeply divided across religious and tribal lines.
He blamed the division on the forced amalgamation of the country by Lord Frederick Lugard in 1914 but argued that the nation’s fault lines became more pronounced with the advent of democracy and its attendant free speech.
The President’s spokesman said, “Nigeria has never been without social and ethnic tensions. That is due to the nature of our union, which was a forceful one in 1914. It was an unwilling union, forcefully consummated by Lord Frederick Lugard. Since then, it had been uneasy, with grave suspicion rifling through the polity.
“It was not helped by the colonial masters themselves, who played one ethnic nationality against the other, to serve their own interests. These tensions spiked in recent times, particularly with the advent of democracy, in which people could make utterances, however indecorous or divisive they may be.
“And you found deep fissures being driven into the various peoples and regions of the country. Awareness of where one came from became heightened, other than national cohesion.
“Politicians cashed in on our fault lines – ethnicity, religion, language, state of origin – and many others, to divide the people, and advance their own interests. That is what has led us to where we are today”