INDIGENEITY AND CITIZENSHIP QUESTION IN SARDAUNA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF TARABA STATE, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study examined indigeneity and citizenship question in Sarduana LGA of Taraba State. Sardauna LGA located in the former Northern Cameroons is bounded by the Republic of Cameroun, with ethnic population traversed Nigeria-Cameroun boundaries. It reviewed literatures to note that scholars tended to have paid less attention to the study of indigeneity and citizenship question among ethnic groups traversed by international boundaries of states. This study adopted the ‘one shot ex-post facto design’. It relied on qualitative technique to generate data from secondary sources. The method of data analysis
used was the qualitative-descriptive analysis of documented evidence from the existing data. However, it adopted the Marxian political economy approach. The study discovered that historical trajectories, which led to the incorporation of Northern Cameroons into Nigeria, marked the beginning of indigeneity and citizenship question in Sardauna LGA. The study found that indigeneity and citizenship question in Sardauna LGA is a contested outcome of political struggles among ethnic political class for valued resources. Nevertheless, it also found that differential treatment of ethnic groups by the state and its
agencies informed by localisation of citizenship in Nigeria contributed to the foreignisation of ethnic groups in Sardauna LGA. The study noted that ethnic settlers exist because some ethnic groups have decided to make themselves indigenes in Sardauna LGA, despite the traversed nature of ethnic identity across the Nigeria-Cameroun boundaries. The study recommend among others, that the government must take proactive step to formalise the citizenship status of ethnic groups in Sardauna LGA by insert the clause(s) in the constitution to recognise the peculiarity of their historical and political as United Nations trusteeship territory, which choose to be part of Nigeria by plebiscite conducted in 1961.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria as a country is suffering from several deep-seated identity–based crises. These crises are what refer as ‘national question’ and they are rooted in the strugggles for the control of economic resources and political power (Ojiji & Bassey, 2008; Momoh & Adejumobi, 2001; Momoh, 2001; Sklar, 2004). These crises include among others, indigeneity and citizenship question. The crises associated with indigeneity and citizenship embryonically started early during the colonial era in Nigeria. Since the colonial era, the government and other stakeholders gave little or no attention to address the looming
challenges associated with indigeneity and citizenship question in Nigeria. Today, the national question is a serious problem in Nigeria. Ethnic claim to indigeneity and citizenship and the challenges arising from such claims have had serious implications for nation and state building, as well as democratic consolidation, not only in Nigeria but also throughout Africa (Nzongola-Ntalaja, 1987, 1993 & 2004; Wamba-dia-Wamba, 1996).
Touring down the historical lane, the origin of indigeneity and citizenship question in Nigeria as it is throughout Africa, started with the scramble for Africa in 19th century – a process that later culminated to the contemporary challenges associated with the claims to indigenousness, nativity, aboriginality, and territoriality of the ethnic communities in Africa. In this connection, Meredith (2011:1) states thus:
During the scramble for Africa at the end of the nineteenth century, European powers staked claims to virtually the entire continent. At meetings in Berlin, Paris, London and other capitals, European
political leaders and diplomats bargained over separate spheres of interest they intended to establish there. … When marking out the boundaries of their new territories, European negotiators frequently
resorted to drawing straight lines on the map, taking little or no account of the myriad of traditional monarchies, chiefdoms and other African societies that existed on the ground
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