Citizenship Right and Discriminatory Practices in Africa: The Case of Nigeria

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Addis Ababa University


The contemporary Africa seems encircled with multifaceted problems due to colonial legacy. Among these, citizenship rights discriminatory practices are the foremost issue for Africans. Most scholars argue that the prevalence of untamed citizenship law is a common dilemma in some parts of Africa even after independence. The purpose of this qualitative inquiry is to investigate practices of citizenship rights provisions discrimination in Nigeria. Basically the study sought answers to three basic questions: How Nigerian citizenship law has been put in to practice? Why discriminatory practices prevail in acquiring citizenship? And what are the consequences of citizenship discriminatory practices in Nigeria? In order to address these basic questions and objectives of the study, secondary and primary data were widely used. While secondary data was reviewed and organized to be used in the study, primary data was gathered from Nigerian residing in Addis Ababa whom were selected using purposive and snowball sampling techniques with the hope to get pertinent and rich data. Interview and document analysis/ review were the two basic instruments the researcher employed to gather relevant data. Then, data gathered via interviews and document analysis were organized, structurally coded and interpret in themes.Contrary international conventions; women, children, minority ethnic groups, refugees, and migrants were deprived of the right to acquire citizenship. As a result these social groups have been facing unfair competition, marginalization, unemployment, statelessness and violation of human rights. The study recommends the need to establish effective citizenship law and implementation that can address socio-economic, cultural and political query of the masses so as to ensure equality of human beings before the law in general and political stability in particular



Citizenship, Right, Nigeria, discrimination, statelessness, ethnicity, Citizenship, Right, Nigeria, discrimination, statelessness, ethnicity