Does Restructuring Require a National Referendum?


Despite the increasing clamour for restructuring of the country from most of the regions, the federal government is yet to undertake any concrete action on the contentious issue. However, some analysts believe there should be a nationwide referendum to decide if Nigeria should be restructured or not, just like Britain voted in a referendum to pull out of the European Union. To you, does restructuring require a national referendum or not?


* A national referendum is appropriate in the Nigerian circumstance. I make bold to say that in a difficult situation to achieve a definite conviction, it is better to have an evidence-based reference, which will come through the result from the referendum.

Mr. Tolu Oyero, Warri, Delta State

* A national referendum is not needed in my opinion. Every right-thinking, sane Nigerian knows that restructuring is urgently needed. Furthermore, our elected representatives in the National Assembly have not shown any urgency about the issue. They have the constitutional power and leverage to make things happen faster. Lastly, Nigerians should not see ‘restructuring’ as the silver bullet that will slay all the dragons bedevilling our country. That is not the reality. What matters is leadership…..visionary, prudent, selfless, altruistic leadership that will deliver good governance nationwide.

Mr. Aiyegbusi Abiodun, Engineer, Lagos State

* Commenting on the present Constitution Chief FRA Williams, the legal icon said “Until this constitution is replaced with another one that Nigerians shall produce, Nigeria will remain unconstitutional”. Yes, a referendum is needed for restructuring but we have to articulate the restructure contents then refer them to the people. Late General Aguiyi Ironsi, who abolished regional government, admitted that a peoples’ constitution must be through referendum from the various constituent units of Nigeria.

Barrister DYN Maigari, Abuja

* I am not against restructuring or referendum, but those calling for all this are not in power again or they are not partaking of the national cake sharing and lootings. If they are in power, there would be nothing like restructuring. The oppositions and never-do-well leaders are behind this restructuring.

Mrs, Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* An important political decision as restructuring, ideally, has to be a decision made by a direct vote by all qualified citizens. The question of, which state /region a minority group should belong to, was decided by plebiscite (a referendum). Contiguous territories, ethnic nationalities or settlements, should be at liberty to elect to be part of any contiguous region other than the region in which the current geo-political zone or state boundaries places them. That is democracy for the people by the people themselves.

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Every interest or region has the type of restructuring they deem fit. So what type is the referendum going to take on? The only restructuring Nigeria needs at the moment are for the states to remain as they are and be given a larger percentage of resources from the federal allocations and greater responsibilities as well. That way, the people of a state will no longer point accusing fingers at the federal government for any marginalisation or lack of development, but will hold their state governments responsible.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* A national referendum will put all stakeholders on one page, as long as everyone understands what is at stake.

Ms Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* The truth of the matter is that referendum is not in our Constitution unless we amend the Constitution and put referendum in it for emergency. The best thing to do is restructuring Nigeria for a better tomorrow. What Nigeria needs are good leaders, and all this agitation and calling for referendum will die naturally.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* The truth is that the end time is here. Be prepared, Jesus is coming soon.

Pastor Babatunde Akinsanya, Lagos State

* There is no need for any national referendum; we have the National Assembly and they are backed by the Nigerian Constitution and the law. They are the Nigerians representing us, whose roles are to make decisions and guide the citizens, seek consultation from the grassroots and present the various ideas on the floor of the National assembly, and interested members need to lobby them for the restructuring.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Abuja

* Yes, it honestly does. Democracy demands NO dictatorship but flexibility, participation, joint objective public decision and accountability e.t.c. In advanced climes such sensitive issues are usually thrown to the floor too and general opinions sort, debated, analysed and conclusions therefrom used to better the lives of the citizens or civil society. National referendum is the key to true governance.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Carrying out a referendum in Nigeria represents uncharted waters – but we need it to deepen our democratic experience. It is something that trends without hassles in other democratic climes. I believe Nigerians generally will welcome the opportunity to air their views on restructuring – so let us have the referendum. With a referendum the generality of the citizens will have the chance to retrieve their voices.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, Brainchild Academic Resources, Apo, Abuja

* Yes, it does. A tree does not make a forest just as two good heads are better than one. Serious debates will throw up great solutions to the peoples’ challenges variously. Civil flexibility is better than force or stiff imposition in a modern and democratic dispensation as today. The voice of the people is the voice of God.

Miss Apeji Patience Apeji, Badagry, Lagos State

* Nigeria definitely require a national referendum if the country is to be restructured. I can see here where citizens are being represented by their representatives where differences are shared at the end of which a consensus is reached on the way forward. My advice is that billions voted for such occasion should be avoided. That is the best way forward, where everyone is free to contribute in building Nigeria, and at the end, you can’t complain about not being carried along.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* A referendum allows the people to take a common stand on any issue and it has worked in other countries before. If Nigeria must move forward beyond her present challenges, then there should be a referendum on several issues including our unity and willingness to move forward as one entity. Once we all agree to move forward together, then the various modalities to make this happen should be outlined and addressed.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State


Yes, it does: 9

No, it doesn’t: 2

Others: 4

Radical tip: Improve leadership!

Number of respondents: 15

Male: 12

Female: 3

Highest location: Lagos (7)

Next Week: Best Devt Lessons Learnt in 57 Years?

To some, past mistakes, if not corrected, are bound to re-occur, seemingly apply to Nigeria. In the present scenario, where agitations and conflicts are stifling overall development in the country, there is the belief that those development lessons learnt during the 57 years since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, should be brought to the fore to help the nation overcome her present challenges and move forward as expected. To you, what are those past lessons in development that Nigeria can benefit from at this trying period? 

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (September 21 & Monday, Sept 25) to,, AND Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, September 28