مجلة المواقف
Volume 10, Numéro 1, Pages 47-57

Contextualizing The Problems With The Concept Of Citizenship In Nigeria

Authors : Ezinwa Vincent Chi . Ihediwa Nkemjika Chimee .

Abstract

All over the world, the concept of citizenship appears very significantly in national discourse that it is given in-depth interpretation and attention. Therefore national governments have included very broadly all the essential and constitutive elements of citizenship in their grundnorm. In Africa, the concept has been very narrowly interpreted in many cases to denude its significance as an indicator of one's relationship with the state as well as limits thereof. Nigeria is one place where the concept of citizenship is deliberately interpreted narrowly to vitiate its concomitant benefits on the citizen and those aspiring to become Nigeria’s citizens. The effect of this has been very adverse on the overall out put of individuals called Nigeria’s citizens. In fact, it is one of the major problems facing the nation today. The feeling of marginalization, denial and abandonment are rife in the mind of most Nigerians, particularly those from the southern part of the polity as well as minorities in the northern part of the polity. If the concept of citizenship is rightly interpreted with all its plenitude of rights attendant on the citizen, much of the crisis and tension in the polity would be averted. The paper intends to examine very broadly the problems associated with the concept and understanding of citizenship in Nigeria, in relation to the constitution and rights of the people, and see what needs to be done to fill the gap in the law.

Keywords

Citizenship; Nigeria; National discourse; National governments; Interpretation