Our dear country, Nigeria, has been a member of the British Commonwealth; a free association of countries that were colonised by Britain and Britain itself seeking joint benefits in various developmental areas; since 1960 with the emergence of PM Tafawa Balewa.
The very few political and economic benefits Nigeria has gained from this association:
- International Campaign for Democratic Principles : Britain and the CommonWealth sanctioned the Nigerian Government to uphold the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution during the indiscriminate arrest and assassination of various activists such as Ken Saro-wiwa, a human rights activist for the emancipation of the minority tribes in Nigeria;Alfred Rewane, a NADECO leader (National Democratic Coalition); under Gen. Abacha’s regime (1993-1998).
- External Fund Source: The CommonWealth has loaned the Nigerian Government huge funds to implement/ maintain various infrastructure.
Sowoyo, AAC presidential candidate (2023); has indicated on his verified Facebook that if he’s elected as President come 2023, he will implement a “No Free Visa;No CommonWealth membership” for Nigeria.
As beautiful as Sowoyo’s policy is, Britain cannot implement it on their own side, the Commonwealth as a whole cannot make that deal, it would bank alot on their national budget(s) (all other things being equal) .
Therefore, Nigeria cannot leave the Commonwealth even in the next 4 years;except if we have a political miracle in Nigeria’s all around. The Commonwealth is one helper Nigeria has left in the face of bad leadership ; or call it, faulty democracy; if we need an exterior megaphone!-the international community.
Leaving the Commonwealth without a prior constitutional restructuring of our country, will spell disaster due to our political variables: rotational presidency insistence, Biafra and Oduduwa nations activism, disregard for the present 1999 Constitution provisions, and growing public distrust for the Constitution as a whole.
Nigeria along with other African- Commonwealth member-states will need to campaign for more mouth-power in that organization. Power wouldn’t be given freely.
However, in the emergence of a Nigeria tailored around the Nigerian Dream, if Nigeria’s membership of the British Commonwealth will impede her efforts to fasten the betterment of her sister-states in Africa due to foreign interests, Nigeria will have to pave its path- Goodbye to the Commonwealth!