The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has expressed fears that Nigeria may experience the Brexit experience, unless youths in the country are given political education to make them understand the issue of restructuring.
A cross-section of Nigerians has been clamouring consistently for Nigeria’s restructuring as basis for national cohesion, progress and peaceful co-existence.
Fashola was speaking as guest speaker at the 76th anniversary of the Island Club in Lagos at the weekend.
According to him, Nigerian youths need to be given the right political education to help them understand the issue of restructuring, to avert the Brexit experience.
Brexit refers to the decision by some people in Britain for the country to leave the European Union (EU), a choice that has thrown the country into confusion.
Fashola argued that the quest for better life had resulted in relentless agitations by some Nigerian groups pushing diverse ideologies in their demands for restructuring.
He said that Britain was currently grappling with the problem of whether to stay in the EU or not because the youth segment of the population did not fully understand the implications of the referendum they participated in.
The minister stressed the need for adequate education of the younger segment of the Nigerian population to ensure that right choices were made in repositioning the nation’s diversity to avoid the Brexit experience.
Fashola noted, however, that he was speaking in his capacity as a member of the Island Club and not as a member of the Federal Executive Council or the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Speaking on “Restructuring: Lessons from Brexit,” Fashola gave a detailed history of the evolution of the United Kingdom, which he said, was similar to Nigeria’s 1914 amalgamation that merged the Northern and Southern Protectorates.
He explained that the insatiable quest for better life was the root of the clamor for restructuring in Nigeria, noting that measures to create new identities had compounded problems throughout human history.
The senior advocate of Nigeria argued that young people, who were not aware of the history of the emergence and evolution of Britain voted in favor of leaving the EU without understanding or weighing its implications, resulting to the current logjam.
He pointed out that ignorance of voters had left Britain in a difficult position of taking a decision whether to leave or not, which had led to the exit of three prime ministers with no headway in sight.
The senior lawyer warned proponents of restructuring in Nigeria to make their definitions clear and to also educate youths on the implications of their choices to avoid retrogression in Nigeria.
Fashola noted that there had been confusion in the restructuring agitation with people clamouring variously for confederation, secession, constitutional amendment and state police, among others, adding that restructuring in whatever guise must be made clear