My meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron

 My meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron

As a teenager, I was interested in politics and had involved in students union activities. Those days my father used to boast about his friendship with the central government minister Mr. A. M. Thomas, and once in Delhi, he took me to his official residence. I then thought of the day when I will get that privilege to meet dignitaries. 

I was working in Nigeria since 1976 as a doctor in a community hospital. My employer, Mbadiwe was a political leader and as an adviser to the head of state of Nigeria. In 1978, the hospital in Nigeria  was visited by Mr.Olusegon  Obasanjo, the head of state of Nigeria. Mr.Obasanjo came to power through a  military coup organised by his predecessor.Then, I had an occasion to meet Mr.Obasanjo with his entourage and take him around the hospital. 

After settling in the UK in 1981, I could not involve in politics as I was busy with my clinical work and my studying for the fellowship in surgery. But in 1998, I joined the Conservative party, when we were living in London. After moving to the current address, I continued to be an activist of the party and I was elected the member of the executive committee of the local Conservative party. In 2010, David Cameron became the prime minister of the U.K. with the support of Liberal Democratic Party. Those days, like other policies of the Conservative party, I was sceptical about its lack of direction on continuing with the European Union. When Tony Blair was the prime minister, although he agreed in principle of a referendum on leaving the EU, he never implemented it as he was scared of the outcome. I was a staunch advocate of leaving the EU, and I was waiting for an opportunity to air my powerful views on leaving the EU with influential politicians.

 That was on 25th June 2012 , I received a phone call from the party official that the prime minister, Mr.David Cameron was visiting Bluewater mall area to meet the party activists  and that I was invited to meet him. The official added that, I could not be informed earlier, because of the security arrangements of the prime minister. I was in my clinic, just finished seeing my patients for that day. I accepted the invitation, and told the receptionist , not to book any more patients for that day. I was excited to be recognised for such a prestigious opportunity to meet with the prime minister at Glow Centre, Bluewater mall. Prior to the meeting there was a form to be signed and I have to undergo airport like security check up. I noticed that Mr.Cameron had invited a number of other party activists for the meeting. He started the meeting by candidly addressing  his views on current affairs particularly on the issue of housing for single homeless people. After that he asked others to air their views on party policies. When my turn came I told him that majority of the British people want to leave the EU, and as a matter of urgency, he has to organise a UK wide referendum to see whether the British opt to leave the EU or not.I also told him about our annual payment of 20 billion to the EU, the policy of the EU encouraging even more asylum seekers to migrate into the countries in the EU, and about the unacceptable ruling of European Court of Justice on human rights. I was aware that Mr.Cameron was a supporter of the EU, and in his view, leaving the EU will tarnish the image of the U.K. on the international standing. But he was also aware of the growing popularity of UKIP, whose main policy is to leave the EU. It was evident, that if the Tory government duck the provision of referendum, it would persuade the party loyalist to join the UKIP. On that occasion I was impressed to note that Mr.Cameron answered to the point, unlike most politicians. He agreed to my views, suggesting that in the interest of healthy democracy the UK citizens should have a say in continuing with the EU. The meeting concluded after  one hour and all of us dispersed. 

About six months after that meeting, in January 2013, Cameron pledged to hold a referendum during the early part of the following parliament. After the tenure of the coalition government, the country returned a Tory government, and Mr.Cameron announced the referendum to be held on 23/06/2016. He campaigned for the UK to be with the EU. Unfortunately, 52% people voted to leave the EU, and therefore he announced to relinquish his position. In his historic speech on 24/06/2016 in front of Number 10 Downing Street, he put “  Not right for me to be the captain who steers our country to  the next destination “ Whatever may be his views, I found Mr.Cameron really an honourable man.


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