Ethnic Conflict and Cooperation: Assessing Citizenship in Nigerian Federalism
Publius: The Journal of Federalism
This study examined the contradictions of indigeneity-based citizenship as provided in the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, through the lens of the dynamics of Jos indigene-settler crisis since 2001. While it is given that there is merit in the constitutional definition of membership of component states of the country in terms of indigeneity, this study contends that the definition is unjust and bedeviled with gaps and contradictions, thus, there is a need to rethink this Constitution for a possible
... tion for a possible normative alternative. This study proposed that a constitutional re-engineering that will foster and promote the entrenchment of shared national institutions and common bonds as possessing normative weight to mitigate the conflicts. Also, that co-nationals domicile in Jos ought not to be subjected to foreign treatment as provided for by the Constitution. Consequently, the study submits that residency in plateau state and any of the states in Nigeria should be sufficient to access and claim membership of the state. Thus, the dysfunctional structural template, which the 1999 Constitution represents in its provisions, as in this regard created the indigene-settler dichotomy stoking the crisis in Jos and it requires a re-think that will galvanise a re-engineering to accommodate residency rights and also specifically prevent the possible mariginalisation of the minorities.