Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the classification of Nigerians as ‘indigenes’ and ‘non-indigenes’ is a form of apartheid and contradicts the citizens’ aspirations towards equality and unity.
Speaking at an event in Abuja, on Thursday, August 26, the VP said said the country’s constitution gives all Nigerians the right to live and work in part of Nigeria without molestation.
“In many quarters, there are feelings of alienation and exclusion. To this point, we must recognize the ways in which we perpetuate institutional discrimination and cause people to see their identities as weapons for procuring opportunity, often at the expense of others.
We see this whenever Nigerians are denied opportunity on the basis of their state of origin or because they are ‘non- indigenes’. We see it when a Nigerian that has been resident in a state all his life is suddenly excluded from admission into an educational institution or an employment opportunity because he is not considered an ‘indigene’.
All Nigerians have a constitutional right to live, work and enjoy their lives in peace and safety under the law. The classification of Nigerians as ‘indigenes’ and ‘non-indigenes’ is a form of apartheid and contradicts our declared aspirations towards equality and unity.
Our Constitution enjoins Government to ‘secure full residence rights for every citizen in all parts of the Federation’ and this is imperative that we must commit to across all tiers of Government. All that should matter in evaluating ourselves is where we live and fulfil our civic obligations.”