Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Are citizens of our great Nation Nigerians by birth or by some other means: referendum, parental lineage, naturalisation, or plain old gatecrashing?
For citizens to whom Aso Rock beckons, the answer to that question is crucial to the realisation of that dream.
Persons, who adopt a Nigerian citizenship illegally, are not Nigerians.
Merely crossing the border into this Nation of ours does not qualify one to parade self as a Nigerian.
Nonetheless, nationals of Niger, Togo, Ghana, Benin, et cetera, claim to be Nigerians, as soon as they affiliate with a Nigerian ethnic nation.
In Northern Nigeria, foreign nationals that are Hausa speakers begin to identify as Nigerian Hausa.
It must be understood that some neighbouring countries have ethnicities identical to some found in Nigeria.
There are persons who self-identify as Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri ~Beriberi, Shuwa Arab, and numerous minority groups, in Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Ghana, Togo, and all through the breadth of West Africa.
They are not Nigerians.
In Nigeria, they hold a Nigerian national identification card, a Nigerian international passport, and a Nigerian permanent voter’s card ~PVC.
Such fraudulent persons participate in national activities, designed solely for Nigerians.
Worse still, these impostors align with the North, to perpetrate crimes against Nigerians of another ethnicity or religion.
The conventions of the Economic Community Of West African States ~ECOWAS provide free movement across the subregion.
The considerations of ECOWAS towards regional trade and exchange of expertise must not be misconstrued as a licence to disrespect the laws of Nigeria.
In this Nation, persons, who illegally claim to be Nigerians, are not authorised to:
Nomadic herdsmen, who enter this Country, are not Nigerians and have no business making demands for grazing land.
This author has heard of some talk that once such herdsmen cross into Nigeria, they become Nigerians.
It is such assertions that embolden foreigners to massacre Nigerian communities over land use.
In the media and other recorded public statements, the educated elite attribute the killings of citizens to foreign herdsmen.
In Southern Nigeria, notably the South-West, within months of their arrival, nationals of Togo, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, et cetera, swiftly learn Yoruba language.
Once the learning of Yoruba is achieved, such foreign nationals identify as Yoruba, for all purposes requiring ethnic identity.
They are not Nigerians.
These criminals register for and receive a Nigerian state of origin ID card and attend State meetings as indigenes.
How one can be an indigene of a community in Nigeria, despite not being qualified to become a citizen of Nigeria, is a certification of the level of crime committed.
Beyond the state level, those foreign nationals possess Nigerian documents: a national ID card, a travel passport, and a PVC.
They vote and hold public office.
In a communal conflict, such duplicitous foreign nationals embed within criminal groups of the South-West.
ECOWAS regulations afford foreign nationals to be in Nigeria as lawabiding nationals of West Africa.
No provision of ECOWAS authorises crime in Nigeria or against Nigerians.
Freedom of movement is certainly not freedom from responsible living.
In Nigeria, foreign nationals have some rights that a Nigerian citizen has.
They have the right to establish a family, a business, et cetera.
They have the right to be a part of a community of their own making.
Should they seek to identify with a particular Nigerian community, they will need to reside among that community and adopt the legal cultural practices of that community.
Interestingly, the cultures promoted by the Constitution Of Nigeria do not include criminal activities.
Should they wish to be recognised as Nigerian citizens, they will need to owe an allegiance to Nigeria.
In both North and South, are foreign nationals working in federal organisations and federal security agencies.
Legal citizens of Nigeria attain citizenship through one or more of the following:
While all of those processes of citizenship guarantee one rights as a Nigerian, they do not necessarily guarantee one all rights as a Nigerian.
Only Nigerian citizenship by birth guarantees one’s rights in all spheres of Nigerian life.
Specifically, for electoral purposes, only a citizen by birth, id est, born in Nigeria, can contest for the presidential office.
A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President of Nigeria if he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth. ~>Section 131(a), 1999 Nigerian Constitution
There was never a time Eastern Nigeria was not a part of Nigeria.
Anyone in doubt can revisit the meaning of the term civil war.
Those born in that region, between the Civil War years of May 1967 and January 1970, are Nigerians by birth.
Was Jada or Kojoli, both in Adamawa State, ever a part of Cameroun, especially, after the amalgamation of Nigeria?
Shortly before the end of the nineteenth ~19th century, Germany annexed Adamawa Emirate.
Following the defeat of German forces in World War I, German Kamerun was partitioned into a French mandate Cameroun and a British mandate Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons.
In the period of self-rule that preceded Independence Day, Northern Cameroons and Southern Cameroons were administered as a part of Northern Region of Nigeria, and first Eastern Region, then Southern Cameroons, of Nigeria, respectively.
On 1961, February 11, a plebiscite ~referendum was held in the British Cameroons.
The outcome, a direct vote of confidence for Sardauna Ahmadu Bello, who had promised the Northern Cameroons an immense government investment and development, was a sixty ~60% percent vote, by Northern Cameroons, in favour of joining Nigeria.
Southern Cameroons voted for a reunion with French Cameroun.
Later that year, Northern Cameroons was renamed Sardauna Province, an administrative division of the Northern Region Government.
Six years afterwards, North-Eastern State, of which Sardauna Province was a component, was carved out of the Northern Region, on 1967, May 27.
On 1976, February 3, Sardauna Province was merged with Adamawa Province and Wukari Division of Benue-Plateau State to form Gongola State.
On 1991, August 27, Gongola State was split into Adamawa State and Taraba State.
Was Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State a part of German Kamerun?
Was Adamawa Province ever a part of German Kamerun?
The designation of Adamawa Province in the years following German annexation is unclear.
Equally uncertain, is the period the region known as Adamawa Province became a British-administered part of Nigeria.
The present boundary between Adamawa State and Taraba State leaves much thought on which portions of land were once a part of Sardauna Province.
It is possible that the demarcation added parts of Sardauna Province into Adamawa State.
It is just as feasible, though highly improbable, that Adamawa State comprises Adamawa Province only.
The doubt is from an observation of the pattern of carving segments of one province into segments of another province for the purpose of state creation.
Anyone determined to nullify the citizenship by birth of a person must dig into colonial records.
A better method to invalidate the candidacy of this particular individual is to question why no one of his relatives, old family friends, old neighbours has emerged to identify with him and testify to his parental lineage, his paternity, and his Nigerianness.
Apparently, all of his parents’ generation: siblings, cousins, friends, neighbours, fellow indigenes, are barren.
Hence, he alone is the source of information about him.
There is no means of verification.
The same lost own polling unit and narrowly won own State.
Clearly, the people of the State are not impressed by his attempts to identify as one of them.