Nigerian government sets up committee to review ‘indigeneship’

The government says the idea of indigenisation could be discriminatory.

The National Council of State has set up a committee to work towards the abolition of internal indigenisation and citizenship policy.

The Council took the decision to abolish citizen registration at the Extra Ordinary meeting, which was called by the President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss the state of the country, on Thursday.

The Security Council had, a forth night ago, discussed the on-going issues of relocation and indigenes registration in states, especially in the Northern part of the country. It stated that if allowed to continue, the effect may be worse than that of Boko Haram.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswil Apkabio, said the meeting was one of the most important and frank meeting held in the last five years.

He spoke alongside the Governors of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu; Enugu, Sullivan Chime; and the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

He disclosed that the Council discussed the issue of how Nigerians could actually be Nigerians in their own country, feeling free to live and do their business without molestation.

“Council viewed the report seriously that some citizens were being deported; deportation should be from one country to the other but where you have a Nigerian who is being returned to his state of origin from other states then you know there is a problem. We felt that that was capable of disrupting the unity of the country, making Nigerians to become apprehensive and unsafe,” Mr. Akpabio disclosed.

He said the Council frowned at the idea of registering citizens in any part of the country.

“And so we looked at all these issues and the role every leader should play; from the local government level to the federal level, the role each one of us should play to ensure that we solidify the unity of this country. We also looked at these discriminatory practices across board from all parts of the country – north, south, west and the east – and we felt all those issues must be brought to the front burner, with solutions proffered to ensure that Nigerians are united, live freely and do their businesses without hindrance,” Mr. Akpabio said.

Subsequent to this, he said, a committee of six state governors was set up to discuss with Nigerians and come up with the possible solutions on the way to permanently stop the issue of indigenisation.

The members of the committee included the governors of Sokoto, Niger, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Ondo and Gombe States: one from each of the six geo-political zones of the country.

The committee would identify discriminatory practices in all states of the federation and in all the local government areas and submit its report to council in the next two months.

“Whether we need to go to the National Assembly, then we will go to the National Assembly. Whether we need to do so through policies at federal, state or local government levels just to make sure that the country is totally united and all those discriminatory practices are brought to an end so that Nigerians can truly feel free and safe to work in any part of the country without hindrance,” he said.

The Niger State governor, Mr. Aliyu, said the discrimination when it came to school fees for indigenes and non-indigenes at state schools also came to the fore at the meeting. Usually “non-indigene” students pay higher than “indigenous” students

“In fact the very concept of indigeneship came to the fore; whether in Nigeria we should be concerned about so called indigeneship or residency,” Mr. Aliyu disclosed.

The NSA, Mr. Dasuki, said that council was worried by the idea of relocating people from any part of the country as this was how the civil war started.


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  • Truthnodeydie

    If government is to set up a committee on indigenisation, one begin to wonder of what relevance was the National conference.
    This has been a major clog in the wheel of our progress as a nation, yet those who took N4M every month for more than three months did not address it. The next committee the government will set up will be on how to settle matrimonial squabbles.

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  • Enemona

    I confess I am a critic of this government and rightly so but I must congratulate it for initiating this move, great move. This has been a major problem, I wish this would be done sincerely and would not be politicised…. well done!

    • redeem

      This exercise is an insult-on Nigerians—-a big shame–60yrs after our freedom–haba–cause we have aawooooooof oil money abi–why is it that anytime the the fulanis cough in Nigeria–The country shakes–why———–Aware-most of the fulanis we have in the fulani north are from the west african sub-region———how are they going to be identified-since most of them are in the armed forces–police–elected as senators–members of the house of Rep–and so on—its another waste of resources–shagari was the one who deported shugaba——–meaning they the fulanis know themselves–its not about the south–cause we hardly have foreigners among us-unlike the north——-we know our roots——–in the south——the registration of fulanis-in the south –was a good exercise—-because of the ongoing boko haram war————to enable us know who they are–since fulani never relocate once they arrive in a place–never they stay put-traditionally african societies-are very sensitive to such issues—setttlers remain settlers–regardless of the law—

      • Shehu

        HEAR YOU BIGOT! “why is it that anytime the the fulanis cough in Nigeria–The country shakes.” YOU SEE THAT’S WHAT I HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU THAT YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO THE FULANIS. BUT BECAUSE YOU ARE MENTALLY RETARDED YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND. YOU HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. FIRE ON, LETS SEE!!!

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Why do you bother with the eunuch?

    • omo 9ja

      The composition of the committee shows that the issue is already being politicized because all the selected governors in the committee are PDP/GEJ’s sympathizers and that is why we have governors from only PDP & LP in the committee. I think Lagos Sate that started the deportation saga should be in that committee so that issues that led to the deportation of some Igbo people can also be addressed and a broad based solution proffered. Not that all political parties should be represented in the committee but take it or leave it there is no state that has non-indigent population like Lagos and Kano, so why are the two states not in the committee if not because they are seen as being run by opposition parties? I may be wrong but all states in the committee (Sokoto, Niger, Gombe, Ondo, Enugu & Akwa Ibom) have relatively low non-indigent population and may not likely have enough grasp of the indigenship challenges because it goes beyond admission policy and deportation saga.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Great response to an equally brilliant comment.

        In order for the FGN to be seen as above board here, it needs to go across party lines to ensure those who are most likely to be affected by, or would resist this move, are carried along.

        The present direction would make it a waste of resources and everyone’s time.

        It is time the Presidency realises it is not a PDP Presidency, but a Nigerian Presidency. That is the hallmark of achievers; the ability to rise above partisanship.

  • The heresy of “touch not the anointed” is killing Nigeria real bad.
    Superstitions.
    Oppression.
    Fear.