Nigerians in Scotland vote for secession

Posted by News Express | 19 September 2014 | 3,108 times

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Many Nigerians in Scotland voted for independence from Britain as the Scottish electorate yesterday turned out en masse to participate in a referendum to would determine the future of Scotland as an independent nation.

With some 4,285,323 registered voters including 16 and 17-year-old electorate, voters were made to answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an Independent Country?”

The Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the electorate, including Nigerians, turned out en masse to vote in 5,579 polling stations across 32 local authorities, making it the busiest day in Scottish electoral history.

Some Nigerians who reside in Scotland said they voted ‘Yes’ in the referendum because they were better off in an independent Scottish nation.

Mrs Macrine Haruna, a journalist, said: “I voted ‘Yes’ because of the future of my children.

“With independence, citizenship for immigrants will be based on residency and birth and this will make it easier for children born here.

“Also, the Scottish policies on health and education makes it easy for people to access the National Health Scheme, and to acquire free education up to university level.”

Similarly, Mrs Ama Shallangwa, a veterinary doctor, said she voted in favour of Scottish independence “because Scotland has an aging population so they are embracing immigrants.”

“Alex Salmon, Scotland’s first minister and chief campaigner for independence, loves immigrants, and I know policies will be implemented in our favour,” Shallangwa said.

However, other Nigerians expressed concern over the referendum, saying it may not be easy for Scotland to adjust after being part of the UK for 300 years.

Mr Amos Yakubu, an economist, said “a lot of people here do not understand the implication of the independence.

“With this autonomy, it means Scotland will cease to use the British Pound Sterling, which remains the highest currency in the world.

“The newly independent Scotland will not be immediately absorbed by the EU, and it means Nigerians with UK visa will need a Scottish visa to visit Scotland.

“Also, even the Scottish people do not know the huge setbacks this will bring in their pension scheme.”

Yakubu said that majority of the people supporting the independence were the youths who thought it was fashionable or patriotic to support the referendum.

More than 10,000 Nigerians reside in Scotland, with majority of them working as professionals in various sectors, while others are students in various institutions.

The huge national community in Scotland accounts for the second largest immigrant settlement after the Polish community.

Reports this morning in the British media indicate that those who prefer Scotland to remain part of Britain have won the referendum, the official result of which is still being expected.

•Photo, courtesy of London Evening Standard, shows a Scotland referendum campaign in Glasgow ahead of yesterday’s vote.

Source: News Express

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