Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday conferred Nigerian citizenship on 286 citizens in Abuja, urging them to be good citizens of the country and enjoy all the rights and privileges granted to them.
Welcoming the new Nigerians, the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, in his speech entitled “The More the merrier,” said that the beneficiaries are from the United States, Europe, America, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and Africa, who saw the good in Nigeria.
Of those deserving individuals who signed as Nigerians, 208 received certificates of Naturalization, while 78 received certificates through registration after officially reciting the Nigerian Pledge of Allegiance and National Pledge during the ceremony in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Mansion, Abuja.
President Buhari said at the ceremony: “You pledged your allegiance to Nigeria. If you give your love and loyalty to Nigeria, she will give you her love and loyalty in return.”
The president stated that of the 286 foreigners who received certificates of Nigerian citizenship, 208 received certificates of naturalization, while 78 received certificates through registration.
He urged them to make positive and useful contributions to the progress and well-being of the diverse communities in which they live, adding that as citizens they must abide by national ethics and code of conduct.
He stated, “You are expected to uphold the principles and institutions of the Nigerian national anthem, flag, pledge, and respect for all duly elected officials.
“Anyone dealing with immigration matters must provide quick legal identification for our new citizens. In addition, their local governments must help their integration into the local community so that they can enjoy all the rights of being a Nigerian citizen.”
In exercising the constitutional powers conferred on him by Chapter III, Sections 25-31 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the President declared to the new citizens that Nigeria is a nation united by the principles of equal opportunity. Equality and liberty as enshrined in the constitution.
“No matter where you are from or what religion you follow, this land is now your country,” he declared.
“Our traditions have become your traditions, and our history has become your history. Your home, your pride, and your delight is Nigeria,” the president further affirmed.
The Ministry of Interior has made sure that only deserving people are nominated to the Federal Executive for Nigerian citizenship by Nigeria’s revolutionary ideals of strict respect for due process of law and open procedures.
President Buhari recalled that in 2020 the federal government adopted the National Action Plan to Eradicate Statelessness and consequently, Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola established the High Level Steering Committee to Eradicate Statelessness in Nigeria by 2024.
The minister explained that this ceremony serves as more evidence of the federal government’s resolve and commitment to help as many persons as possible escape statelessness.
“In this regard, I would want to restate our commitment to Nigeria’s strategic position in the international community and its unyielding quest of deeper human integration to ensure peace and prosperity,” the minister explained.