National Conference: Delegates begin deliberations on committees' reports

National Conference: Delegates begin deliberations on committees' reports

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 7:47 pm

Abuja – Citizenship, Immigration and other Related Matters topped discussion as the National Conference started deliberations on recommendations of its sub committees on Wednesday.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents report that some of the delegates made further recommendations on the submissions made by the committee.

Areas where further inputs were proposed included citizenship rights and census, amongst others.

Mr Chris Abongaby, representing North East, suggested that critical indices for population documentation such as religion, tribe and language ought to be captured by the conference for demographic purposes.

He also suggested that citizens, who settle in any part of the country for a period of 10 years and meet up their civic obligations, should be allowed to enjoy full benefits as indigenes.

“A critical indices on population documentation like religion, tribe or language should be captured in the conference recommendations.

“The indices were omitted in the 2006 census and the Committee on Citizenship, Immigration and other Related matters still did not capture it in its recommendations,” he said.

Similarly, Prof. Roseline Onah, representing Enugu State, agreed that settlers should be given concession after spending certain number of years in any part of the country.

She, however, suggested that such persons be put on probation to know if they meet their obligations before being allowed to enjoy full rights.

Onah further recommended that children born in any part of the country should enjoy full citizenship rights the moment they are given birth.

“I also want to suggest that to facilitate total integration the state of origin as required in documents, should be replaced with place of domicile.

“I support the need for accurate population figure and integrated data base because data is important.

“It is therefore important that we have adequate data and I support the recommendation by the committee that officials who inflate population figures should be prosecuted,” she said.

On her part, Mrs Esther Gonda, representing Plateau State, said the committee’s report addressed the concerns of the rights of all Nigerians to reside anywhere in the country and enjoy privileges.

She, however, pointed out that there was a need to maintain ancestral lineages to protect the rights of minority ethnic groups.

“We do not want to cut off the rights of the minorities who might be swallowed up by the majority ethnic groups when they come to settle in these communities.

Indigene-ship therefore, should not be ruled out because it helps to protect ancestral rights of such minority groups, provided it is not a move to alter the demography of any region,” she said.


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