The United Kingdom, UK, has on Sunday, disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari, on the clamour for restructuring.
The Acting British High Commissioner to
Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, on Sunday, noted that the call for
restructuring of the country was a healthy one.
This statement was at variance with
Buhari, who during his 57th Independence Day Speech, said that the call
for restructuring is leading to secession.
According to her: “I am really excited to be here, I find Nigeria an energising place to be in, as it is full of opportunities.
“I come out of many meetings energised
at the prospects that Nigeria has, but I at times come out of other
meetings less energized, and a bit more pessimistic.
obviously gone through the economic high and lows, rising and falling
tensions, through Military dictatorships to the solid and strengthening
democracy that we see today.
“The UK’s relationship with Nigeria is
long and broad. We work together now on issues ranging from trade,
investment, commerce, education, infrastructure, health, security and
the list goes on.
“We are committed to taking that
relationship from strength to strength and to standing with Nigeria on
this journey as it deepens democracy, improves security and creates
“There are obviously issues that need to be addressed in Nigeria.
“Issues like corruption, issues like the
insecurity in the Northeast, issues like the under-representation of
girls in positions of influence and indeed the violence that many of
them suffer on a daily basis.
“The Buhari government is committed to
tackling many of those issues, and there are some incredibly impressive
people working to address them.
“Challenges remain in Nigeria as they do in every other country of the world.
“I and the UK would encourage Nigerians
to unite, to stand firm for peace and for unity to overcome those who
wish Nigeria harm and to bring a safe and prosperous future for all
“I think the debate about restructuring is a healthy one to be had.
“It shows that the population are
engaged in the politics of the country and care about how their country
is run and what it gives to them.
“I would urge, as the government has
done, for calm in how those discussions proceed and for measured
responses in terms of language and activity.
“This is so that those legitimate
political debates can be had in an atmosphere of mutual respect and of a
mutual ambition to take things forward rather than to descend into
violence which would be really unfortunate for a country like Nigeria.
“Take advantage of the differences, the huge range of people, of cultures, of the landscape that we see in Nigeria.
“Nigerians should take advantage of the
full variety that the country enjoys and I certainly would support the
president’s commitment to tackling corruption.
“It’s something that comes up very
frequently when we speak with business people who either are operating
in Nigeria already or are contemplating coming to Nigeria, but with
other actors as well.
“The commitment that the president has
shown in tackling that issue is highly commendable, and we work closely
with him and we continue to do so to bring his aims to fruition.’’