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.
Fashola was speaking as a 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 a 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. This is to ensure the 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.
Fashola noted that there had been confusion in the restructuring agitation with people clamouring variously for a confederation; secession, constitutional amendment and state police, among others; adding that restructuring in whatever guise must be made clear to youths.
“Let us decompose that word and let everybody be specific. There is so much confusion. Don’t hide restructuring under one word. Bring it out, so that we know what to choose.
“Some people are calling for the parliamentary system of government. The new generation must be told that it was the parliamentary system that caused a crisis; which was difficult to resolve and which led us into civil war.
“Where people are diverse, a federation is better. There is a great deal of work to be done by the protagonists.’’
He said that the Federal Government was being blamed for all problems; ranging from education to other sectors dominated by states or the private sector.
Fashola said there were constitutional provisions already for distribution of equal opportunities; citing the 13 per cent revenue allocation for mineral producing areas as an example.
The minister said that the constitution could show direction but that Nigerians must imbibe the right attitude for it to work.