Should I give up my citizenship?

By Chukwuemeka Samuel Nwaiwu.

Should I give up one of my passport just for the love of country?

While Nigerians celebrates one of its own been made a junior minister Kemi Badenoch born in Wimbledon, UK, she was raised in Lagos Nigeria Before moving back to the UK at the age of 16.

Toni Chike Iwobi (born 26 April 1955), better known as Tony Iwobi, is an Italian politician for who was elected to the Lega Nord. Toni was elected to the Italian Senate in the 2018 general election.

Godson Chikama Onyekwere was born in Nigeria to an Igbo family from Umuahia, Abia State. He moved to Poland in 1993, and in 2001 became a Polish citizen. In 2008, he became a member of the Łódź City Council. In 2007, he unsuccessfully ran in the Polish parliamentary election. In 2010, he was re-elected for the City Council with 4736 votes, the second best result out of almost 800 candidates.

Ezeajughi, a native of Anambra State, Nigeria, was elected mayor on April 16, 2019, by the College of Councillors on Brent, London.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, The Ondo State Election Petitions Tribunal has nullified the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Ikengboju Gboluga.

section 66(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The section states that, “No person shall be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives if: (a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country.”

While the world is becoming a global village Nigeria is yet to tap into the trend of opening up its political space.

While researching I bumped into this article: https://thefirmaadvisory.com/new-blog/2018/7/18/does-dual-citizenship-disqualify-a-person-from-seeking-or-holding-elective-office-in-nigeria

Decision of Nigerian Court:

The question of dual citizenship and forfeiture of same has attracted judicial attention in Nigeria because of the Constitutional provisions. One of the most outstanding judicial authority on this matter is the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Dr. Willie Ogebide v. Mr. Arigbe Osula (2004) 12 NWLR Part 886 page 138 paras C-E where Onnoghen JCA (now JSC) in the same case opined in:

“… it is clear and I hereby hold that the acquisition of dual citizenship by a Nigerian per say is not a ground for disqualification for election to the National Assembly particularly where the Nigerian citizen is a citizen by birth. That is the clear meaning of the provisions in sections 66(1) and 28 of the 1999 constitution when taken together. The only Nigerian citizen disqualified by the said sections is one who is a citizen of Nigeria by either registration or naturalization who subsequently acquires the citizenship of another country in addition to his Nigerian citizenship…” (Bold for emphasis)

While leaders in Nigeria have constantly encouraged Nigerians in diaspora that they have a huge role as well as the huge potential in terms of national development. section 66 of the 1999 Constitution does not encourage people like me whole have lived abroad and have family abroad. How do I just drop everything I have worked for and move back to Nigeria just because I want to assist the nation politically?

I can understand that the writers based their thinking on National security and the possibility of espionage, where one can possibly be a work for another country he or she swore allegiance to.

The case of Ikengboju Gboluga is a case I will love to follow until the end.

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