Does Nigeria Need a Referendum to Stay Together?

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The recent exit of Britain from the European Union (EU) through a referendum is still generating ripples, with some groups like Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) calling for referendum to decide whether the ethnic groups of Nigeria should stay together or not. To you, does Nigeria need a referendum to stay together and develop as one entity, or not?

ABIMBOLA AKOSILE

* I don’t think a referendum of that nature is needed to decide if we should stay together or not. It’s impossible to conduct a credible poll in Nigeria and the referendum will be massively rigged, depending on what agenda each state or region is pursuing. A Sovereign National Conference, where the terms of our continued staying together would be renegotiated, would be a better alternative to a referendum in this matter.
– Mr. John Ogunsemore, Lagos State

* Unfortunately, the 1999 constitution of Nigeria has no window or room for referendum.
– Mr. Juwon Adeyemi, Lagos

* Yes. The Parliament as constituted are incapable of doing anything in that direction. We the people must decide and it is about time we do this so that we can now move ahead to build the nation that we all deserve. The referendum will enable us decide the conditionalities of our continued existence. This will allow us shape our future because it would give all of us the opportunity of putting everything on the table. The issue of federalism which has always been an albatross would be thoroughly discussed giving way to a leaner centre.
– Prof. Kate Nwufo, mni, Abuja

* I think the first step is to review the nation’s constitution to make provision for this referendum. To be honest with ourselves, I believe parliamentary system of government will take care of these agitations.
– Mrs. Mary Adeola Tehinse, Lagos

* No, we don’t need a referendum.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Yes, we must discuss and review periodically such a vital issue as this for purpose of reassurance, sense of identity and belonging especially in view of the current economic crunch or downturn. This happens even at family level. It is essential to encourage the people by any means to assure them that the future is hopeful, no matter the challenges now. Faith works wonders.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos

* No, referendum is unnecessary distraction. Is anybody doubting whether he or she is truly Nigerian? We are all Nigerians please. Our budgets have always covered all the 36 States including Abuja. Let us emphasise unity, loyalty, patriotism, love e.t.c. for one another.
– Ms. Saiki Ometere Tina, Gboko, Benue State

* Certainly Yes! We need it. However a conference must precede it, and that has been taken care of with the 2014 National Conference. The second thing is a Peoples’ Constitution, again that conference has set the tone. Graciously the organisers and honourable people that coordinated the last conference made all provisions for our transition from existing system to whichever one we collectively choose. The deception of Western civilisation and Nigerian-Military coalition with selfish elites, have robbed us of our senses and power of working together to build formidable institutions. Referendum or war are the two ultimate options, and we are getting there soonest.
– Mr. Abimbolu Ogunbanwo, Lagos State

* Yes; Nigeria needs referendum considering what is happening today. Marriage is not by force.
– Mr. Mark Clement, Abuja

* A referendum on this is not necessary because the outcome would be for Nigeria to remain united, because outside the Niger Delta, only Lagos can survive at the moment. Buhari has been unable to give Nigerians a sense of belonging, hence the agitations. The lopsided appointments and recruitment exercises are a major factor, contrary to Section 15 (4) and Section 14 (3) of the Nigerian Constitution.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* Do we have what it takes to separate and stand as a nation? Time will tell. What Nigeria needs is restructure so every group would have their own sense of belonging in governance of one Nigeria.
– Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* Well a referendum would have been a good idea. But, who is going to conduct it? Definitely, it will only go the way the government in power wants it. If you continue to beg a wife who does not see anything good in you to stay with you against her wish, one day, to ensure she frees herself, she might do something nasty, like poisoning the man.
– Mrs. Rosemary Nwaebuni, Asaba, Delta State

* Does the Nigerian constitution allow for a referendum? Let us start from there, Padre.
– Mr. Kirk Leigh, Lagos

* We want referendum to determine what kind of political structure we want to belong to, we want exit of Nigeria. Total and independent sovereign state of Biafra is our right. If self-determination is a fundamental human right, why is the Nigerian government denying us our right to self-determination? We, the people of Biafra want our country back just like the United Kingdom took back control of her nation. And it’s not in the interest of Nigeria to decide for us, it’s our choice to decide what we want.
– Mr. Yahgozie, editor Biafra24 Radio, London, UK

* That is the only solution; nothing else. We need a referendum in Nigeria.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Referendum is a good agenda by all groups. Let us go as a nation so there will be peace after separation; and let not what is happening in South Sudan occur here because of resource control. We must check the good, bad and ugly aspects of separation before we call for referendum. Let us give this government time before we agitate for referendum if they fail.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* A referendum was encapsulated in the National Conference that held in Abuja a few years ago. With the way Nigeria is structured, the outcomes of that conference would help in resolving allegations of marginalisation and lop-sidedness in governance. If we decide to live together as one entity, then everyone from every part of the country must have a true sense of belonging, backed by equitable distribution of the nation’s resources. Then development will occur rapidly.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos

THE FEEDBACK

Yes, it is abusing its powers: 8
No, it is not: 3
Others: 6
Radical tip: Referendum or war!
Total no of respondents: 17
Male: 11
Female: 6
Highest location: Lagos (8)

Next Week: Can the Anti-corruption War Be Improved?

Although the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) has made the fight against corruption a cornerstone of this administration, opinions differ on how the war has been prosecuted so far; with allegations of bias, too much leniency, too little sanctions, slow tempo, absence of notable convictions and sentencing, among others. However, it is not in doubt that Nigeria must fight official corruption to a standstill to be able to develop. But, to you, how can the war be better prosecuted, to improve Nigeria’s development process?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (July 14 & Monday, July 18) to abimbolayi@yahoo.com, greatbimbo@gmail.com, AND abimbola.akosile@thisdaylive.com. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, July 21