IAADHR

Defence of Human Rights

THE STATE OF NATIONS CITIZEN-SETTLERS CHALLENGES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THE PAIN OF CHANGE ON AVERAGE CITIZEN OF NIGERIA.

Sep 272017

 

 


THE STATE OF NATION’S CITIZEN SETTLERS CHALLENGES; IMPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THE PAIN OF CHANGE AGENDA ON AVERAGE CITIZEN OF NIGERIANS.

Keeping mute or staying indifference in the face of the uninspiring leadership of any government amounts to demeaning complicity. Keeping mute in the face of the life – threatening misery and anguish that had been foisted on average Nigerians amounts to betrayal of posterity and the very essence of humanity. It is thus reasonable and understandable why we find it imperative to lend our voices of concerns & reasons against the increasing hopelessness in the nation as well as the slide into maladministration.
The utmost desire and aspiration of Nigerians is to see that their beloved country grows and develop in leaps and bounds. Regrettably, this desire is hampered by series of challenges; one of which is the issue of citizen-settler syndrome. Today, one of the most disturbing trends in the polity today is the issue of indigene-settler syndrome, a sad situation where places of origin are designed to give strategic advantage to those who wield this weapon of mischief. BY Nigerians politicians that use citizen –settlers as ATM for electorate victory in Nigeria.
If Nigeria is to achieve the so much desirous integration, it must properly deemphasize the issue of indigene/citizen-settler state of origins syndromes. in Nigeria.
The term “citizen” typically refers to any person who owes allegiance to a sovereign state and there by receives certain afforded legal status and certain rights. No connection to the area or land is required and those born outside of the country can often apply to become citizen.
The word “Indigene” has no place in the nation’s constitutions. There is no explicit or implicit definition of indigene. The word ‘indigene ‘use to qualify a citizen of Nigeria whose tribes is “native” to a given territory, cannot be referred to as an “Indigene” as widely abused and distorted in Nigerians to segregate and discriminate the other Nigerians living in state or local Government where their lives are not “Indigenous” to that given area.
In a sense, an “indigene” is only an “older settler” of a particular sociocultural space, while a “settler” is a more recent occupier of the same space.
The word “settler” referred to a citizen whose tribe is regarded as alien to a particular state or local government and for which no matter how long the people or their protégé have lived there in, cannot be regarded as indigene to a particular state or local government.

Today, Nigeria is one of the few nations that had series of controversies regarding citizenship status. Local and state government within a nation requires a person to be indigenous to a particular area before he can run for office in that locality, leading to a series of division. The issues of citizen -settlers have been on in Nigeria, exacerbated by struggle for limited space, couple with nepotism, favourism, tribalism, and selfishness. Corruption,

The British colonialism in northern Nigeria through its infamous indirect rule system, merely consolidated and systematized approach of the Minority was further enhanced by feudalism.

As long as the struggle for resources of the nation continues, the issue will continue to be engage for the advantage of those who wield it, regrettably this is a recourse to primordial and senseless perpetuation of rent-seeking behavior that retards nation progress.

The syndrome competes in diametrical opposition to our constitutional right as Nigerians and remains a big cankerworm that not only denies our institution high caliber leaders, but also militates against the collective development arising from individual competitiveness in the polity.

There are series of cases of abuse of citizen-settler that had undermined degree of patriotism in Nigerians. This issues affected late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe 1957 when the population of Nigeria Is [42, 656 million] in political participation in the predominantly Yoruba south west, that is the beginning of division as settlers and indigenes syndrome among Nigeria. The citizen indigenes issue led to unexpected controversies that trailed the nomination of Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the former minister of Finance as a Ministerial nominee to represent Lagos state in the federal executive council (before his eventual confirmation on July 6th by the senate).
While that was done, issues of marginalization of Lagos state in the ministerial portfolio was raised by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila(ACN), Lagos state who kicked against the nomination of Aganga because he reportedly hailed from Ora in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo state, while he is married to Abiodun Awobokun, a Yoruba woman.
Fred Agbaje, a constitutional lawyer also described his nomination as marginalization of Lagos and advised him to “simply step down and allow the people to choose a representative of their choice”

During the 2007/2008 gubernatorial election in Lagos state, some elements rose up against the candidature of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, saying that he was not a Lagosian, the matter was not resolved until the election was concluded.
The 1999 Nigeria constitution which is the exact ground norm of the land contains various aspects with regards to citizenship.acquisition of Nigerian citizenship, Namely through birth, by registration and by naturalization.
By whatever way the Nigerian citizenship is acquired, once declared a Nigerian person, a person automatically enjoys constitutional rights guaranteed by the constitution. Why then must we continue to refer to the discriminatory tendencies of the citizen -settler syndrome?
The issue of citizen-settler has generated too much bad blood in the nation’s political history thereby undermining the oneness and development of the nation. In the nations economy and infrastructural development, such an issue has prevented the emergence of the best brain to help solve our economic challenges, giving room to mediocrity. The abuse of the word “indigenes” has led to conflict and crisis as seen in Jos pogrom of 2001, 2004, 2009, Bauchi in 2009, 2007, 1999, Kano in 1981/1991, 2001 and Zango Kataf in 1991, in Ife Modekeke in 2001, in Aguleri- Umuleri in 2002 and in Kuteb/Jukun and Tiv conflict of 2001/2002.quit notice given by arewa youth to igbo residence in the northern region /hausa by ijaw youth at south south


This said manipulations must not be allowed to continue; for instance, Olusegun Aganga who was born and has stayed for over 40years in Lagos cannot be said to be a settler again, if not for mischief and self-preservation.
If this is allowed to persist, then our desire for peaceful coexistence will be truncated.

The 1999 constitution of Nigeria provides, inter alia, in 42(11), a citizen of Nigeria of a particular communities, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not be by reason only that he or she or practical application of any law in Nigeria over any executive or administrative action of the government, to restriction to which citizen of Nigeria or other communities, ethnic groups, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion are made subject.
This is sad, particularly when viewed against the background of decline in critical sector of the nation’s economy vis – a – vis, security, power, economy and rule of law.
As the nation marks her independence anniversary, our hearts are heavy but the obvious failure of leadership at all level of governance in Nigeria. When other nations of the world celebrates giant landmark they had been able to achieve in previous year, we continue to celebrate mediocrity.
Amidst rising insecurity is total gloom of epileptic power supply and national darkness rising cost of living and blatant violation of human rights and impunity – this must not be allowed to continue again.
Under Babtunde Fashola leadership of the power sector has become equivalent to publics heath centre where emergency ward section has no drug for treatments of patient’ total national blackout remains a constant but sad failure of our reality and living.
In the face of non availability of prepaid meters today, many Nigerians groan under the crushing burdens of estimated billing or over billing-in the face of non availability of prepaid meters- by the operators in a circle of corporate inefficiency and laxity in handling the perennial power problems in the nation.
Although, the sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria has been very elusive due to ominous reasons that are not exclusive to Nigeria, but the way and manner the present Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has so far clearly shows underperformance.

The nation’s economy is no doubt under siege, particularly, under the present governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The economic indicators pointed to the fact. In the first quarter of 2017the nations GDP contracted by 0.52% according to statistics from the national bureau of statistics as released on May 23, 2017.
What it clearly translates for many Nigerian is the high economic hardship that its snuffing life out of ordinary Nigerians, occasioned by high inflation, high cost of food prices in the market, depreciation of the values of the naira and high cost of living.
Under the central bank governors inconsistent economic policies, the manufacturing and services businesses struggled with many shutting down as they were unable and find it difficult to access the regular and cushioning streams of foreign exchange needed for operation.
It is clear the Godwin Emefiele has failed in his job as his policies are not only killing industries but also the patriotic efforts to diversify the economy. He has proven to be clueless and lack the grasp and confidence needed to challenge the meddling in the affairs of the apex bank as his predecessors.
Under his leadership, the CBN supervises illegal recruitment of children of influential Nigerian POLITICIANS without recourse to due process while thousand of qualify able graduate Nigerians of both the old and new generation banks are been sack with their deceit of cooperate inefficiency consultant to recruit inexperience as incompetent that will accommodate their
Nigerians. Under his inconsistent policies, the operators of bureau de change were banned from accessing foreign exchange and stop the banks from selling forex to even students ,essential commodities and open forex for highly place exposed corrupt persons of politicians for medical missions abroad, thereby making naira to lose value. He fixes currency exchange rates without considering the market forces. This inconsistent policies have caused untold hardship on ordinary citizen of Nigeria, we need competent hand to run the CBN,to address the abysmal economic failure in the nation and to help stabilize the rule of law.

THE ANTTHORNEY GENERAL
The observance to the rule of law remains the robust catalyst to drive the nation fight against in security, corruption, nepotism and promote economic stability in the polity. Sadly under the present dispensation, the rising culture of impunity is celebrated as well as disobedience of court order. This no doubt is a threat to the judiciary as it continues to threaten it independence. Several high profile cases of criminal charges withdraw and some in which court has ruled that the federal government release the subject had been glaringly disobeyed, yet the attorney general has not been able to stamp his influence and compelled the federal government to respect the rule of law.
The position of attorney general and minister justice is too important to be subjected to partisan politics or citizen-settler syndromes and indigene as non indigene tribal sentiment, regrettably under the present minister of justice and attorney general, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the chief law officer of the federation, we have seen a tend towards primordial cleavages.
Instead of him to abide by the oath of his office and stop pandering to the whim and caprices of a section of the country to the detriment of national security interest. The position is too prestigious to delegate to charge and bail attorney general or to project into low level of incompetence. Of’’ CJN’ judgments before trials’ It must continue to truly serve as a liaison between government and the legislatures; to pander on sectional interest is to continue to lose the confidence of the generality of Nigerians in the nation’s judiciary. It must not promote any ethnic or tribal agenda, else the stability of the nation will be further compromised and negatively impact on the ability of government to fulfill its electoral promises within the remaining time it issue of citizen –settler in our nation. We call on all other NGO’S organization of patriotic activist and prominent Nigerians to joining us’ in campaign, and championing for an equitable citizenship bill for adoption into our constitution where every Nigerians will be equal.

COMRADE, BATURE JOHNSON,
President [IAADHR] international association for advancement and defense of human rights.

 

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