what self-legislated indigeneity looks like (defined from inside-out, rather than outside-in)

23Feb10

A Bill has been framed in Nigeria to uphold the rights of Indigenous people there, amid a “Settler, Indigene squabble”, writes Onwuka Nzeshi of AllAfricaNews.

The Bill reads in parts: “A person is an indigene of a local government area or area council in Nigeria, if – (a) he or she or any of his parents belong to a tribe indigenous to the local government area or area council in which they reside; or (b) he or she or any of his parents is a migrant from another local government area or area council and has resided in the new local government or area council on or before the 1st day of October 1960 and continues to reside there; or (c) he or she or any of his parents is among the first to reside in the local government area or area council and he resides in it; or (d) he or she is a person born in that local government area or area council and he subsequently continues to reside in it; or (e) he or she is a spouse of a person who is an indigene by virtue of any of the circumstances mentioned in this subsection; or (e) he or she is a person who has resided in the local government area or area council for a period of at least five years.

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“The government of every state shall ensure that – (a) all persons residing in local government areas or area councils enjoy equal economic, political and cultural rights; (b) the property, life, well-being, religion and culture of all persons residing in that state are secured, respected, honoured and protected;(c) no person suffers any form of discrimination, deprivation, disentitlement, stigmatization, or ostracisation on grounds only that such person or persons does not or do riot belong to any of the predominantly ethnic groups in which lie resides; (d) no person living in any local government area or area council in Nigeria shall be denied the right to observe and practise such cultural activities.”

The Bill also prescribes punishment for any state government that breaches the law; pointing out that the states are liable to any public disturbance resulted by indigene/settler conflict.



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