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n African Renaissance - Bifurcated citizenship in Nigerian cities : the case of Lagos

Volume 17, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305
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Abstract

The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria guarantees equality of the citizens, but accords special rights and privileges to natives. Thus, there is a bifurcation of citizenship between the “native-citizens” and “non-native-citizens”, with different rights and privileges attached to each category. The crises created by this bifurcation is better observed in the cities, as it provides points of contact between large numbers of natives and non-natives. Lagos, as a megacity, epitomizes the identity and legal crises pervasive in Nigeria. This bifurcation of citizenship has created a dilemma thereby recasting the megacity as the pepperfarm, which Eko, the original name of Lagos, was in the 18th century. Using doctrinal method, the paper found that Lagos, not unlike many Nigerian cities, is shrouded in controversies and conflicts which could only be resolved by new legislation and orientation. The project of correcting the observed anomaly of bifurcated citizenship in Lagos is however beyond the city. It must embrace the whole of Nigeria. Hence, the relevant laws need to be updated towards permitting citizens to claim their place of birth or residence once they are able to assimilate the ways of life of the indigenous population, as this will resolve the legal and identity crises currently endangering the megacity; and help in reducing primordial attitude.

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2020-12-01
2021-01-19

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