Of Brexit and Nigeria’s democracy

A      LTHOUGH the British people have voted in a referendum to leave the European Union (EU), and a new Brexit-looking government has taken over, the petition of four million citizens urging the government to have a rethink has been sent to parliament.

While the petition may not be enough to force another referendum, it definitely reveals the democratic rights of British citizens to voice their views against a democratic exercise, which was the referendum.

The United Kingdom now has a new leader, in person of Theresa May, and with the fact that those who have gained strong positions in her government are those who supported the country to leave the EU, then it shows that the new government is seriously pushing for a Brexit.

Whatever the UK government decides at the end of the day, it is important for the Nigerian government to also look at how to satisfy the yearnings of its citizens.

Denying the people of how they want to be governed is only pushing our evil days forward, as the people will never back-off from such demands.

Have we ever thought it wise that 46 years after the civil war ended, the Igbo people have resurrected the Biafra spirit. This means that government can only suppress the yearnings of a people for some time, but cannot kill it completely.

The options before government are in two parts — first, it is either the government allows for restructuring, which will give the regions more control. This can be done in how the United Kingdom is structured. Here, there is England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and despite these home nations being one, they operate different economies, as well as other sectors like health, education, police, sports, among others. However, they are united by the central government, under the leadership of the prime minister; they are also united by the monarch and in the area of defence.

If Nigeria follows this political structure, then there will be competition among the geo-political zones and in no time, the country will truly be the giant of Africa.

The other option before government is for it to allow a referendum on whether citizens of certain sections want to remain part of the Nigerian nation. I doubt it if this will be the better option to follow and as a result, the Federal Government can allow for a political restructuring of the country. It can put this in motion first by studying the drafts of the national conference held by the immediate past administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

  • Dr Ken Uturu,


Delta State.