THE FORCEFUL RELOCATION OF CITIZENS WITHIN A COUNTRY (A CASE STUDY OF LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA)

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ABSTRACT

The aim of this research is to bring to light the illegality and obvious marginalization of indigenes being deported from one region to another against their wishes using the recent happening in Lagos State-Nigeria as a case study. The social impacts of this action being carried out under a formulated policy have had negative effects on the affected Igbo community in no small measure. It has suddenly created effects which makes them to be labeled as unwanted members of Lagos community despite been Nigerians.

The socio economic effect is the major way in which the impacts of this action was viewed. The Qualitative research methodology was used in data collection. The views of notable members of the society were collected using the various articles, comments and interviews granted on the social media as the sources of the information. This is largely due to the fact that no research has been conducted on this particular topic before. The opinions of the members of The Nigerian Bar Association was used as they viewed the action as an infringement of the fundamental human rights of the affected citizens, and if not checked could form a precedent that other governors could choose to follow in the future.


The researchers also took time to fathom what could be the possible reasons for the unjust policy by the Lagos state government, and diverse views were given based on the opinion of the researchers and the materials gathered. The effects of the eviction were weighed side by side with the peaceful and mutual coexistence that the residents of the states have always enjoyed.

The impacts of this action on the affected community were not left out of this thesis. Their life plans were suddenly altered and so would the different things attached to their daily living; for example, education, life plans, their health, psyche and others.

Countries who have encountered this similar challenge were also mentioned and reliable information gathered as to know how it was handled or how it was eventually resolved.

The welfare system in Finland was also given a cursory look, as the reason given by the Lagos state government is seen as anti-welfare of the evicted community. A country that wants to thrive and enjoy peace is expected to put the welfare of her citizen at the forefront of its policies. The Finnish legislations made room for the establishment of Administrative courts where citizens can resort to in cases of been affected by any unjust policy or policies of the government. This we believe could be a model to Nigerian Government to emulate.


Keywords: Citizens, residency, diaconia, social welfare, exclusion and religion.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of Research
1.2 Lagos, Anambra and their Regional Differences and Governance
1.3 Description of the Research Environment and Context
1.4 Topical Interests
1.5 Religion and Religious Stance
1.6 The Nigerian Constitution
1.7 Aim of Research

2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
2.1 Literature Review
2.2 Method of Data Collection
2.2.1 Formal Media Reports and National Media Outfits
2.2.2 Nigerian Bar Association
2.2.3 Government Reports
2.3 Data Analysis
2.4 Ethical Considerations

3 RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCOVERIES
3.1 Ethnic Discrimination as against the Long Lasting Coexistence
3.2 Is Beautification a Justification for Deporting Nigerian Citizens?
3.3 The Eviction as a Total Infringement of their Constitutional Rights
3.4 Diakonia and Religious Perspective
3.5 Citizens and their Rights to Residency
3.6 Social Policy

4. FURTHER DISCUSSION AND THESIS DIAGRAMMATIC FRAMEWORK
4.1 Effects
4.2 Thesis Diagrammatic Framework

5 RESEARCH WEAKNESSES AND LIMITATIONS
5.1 Inadequate Interview Time
5.2 Inability to Observe and Procure Firsthand Information
5.3 Financial Weakness and Constraints
5.4 Recent Progressions and Happenings
5.5 Neutrality of Research
5.6 Multi-Dimensional Case

6 STUDY SIGNIFICANCE, RECOMMENDATIONS AND OUTLOOKS
6.1 Significance and Recommendations
6.2 Professional Outlooks

7. STUDY COMPARISONS AND MODELS
7.1 Finland as a Model
7.1.1 The Accommodative System
7.1.2 The Administrative Courts System
7.2 Similarities to Brazil

8. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
8.1 Focus
8.2 Researchers' Bias
8.3 Descriptive Validity
8.4 Peer Review

9. CONCLUSION
REFERENCES


1 INTRODUCTION

In 2013, the government of Lagos state deported some indigenes of Anambra State back to their state. This action did generate lots of controversy, because it was an act of marginalization and violation of the fundamental human rights of the affected people. Also, this brought about discussion on abuse of powers by state governors and the need to be able to define how they can be held responsible for their actions.

The issue became more interesting based on the fact that the governor of Lagos State is not just a Lawyer by profession but also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and because the affected people, “the people that were removed’ are from another ethnic group. Also, it brought back memories of the Nigerian civil war and a question into the unity of Nigeria.

Initial reports suggested that 70 or more ‘Igbo’ people were herded in one bus or several, driven from Lagos State to Anambra State in the middle of the night, across the Niger Bridge, and dumped in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State. A lot of questions arose here; examples are: If it was a legal for a state government to remove indigenes of another state from their state to the indigenes' state, then why were they not handed over to the state government that the indigenes are said to have come from. (Sahara Reporters).

Also, if the action of the Lagos state government was based on a social policy; then what kind of policy is that, that gives provision for peoples’ lives to be exposed to danger? And, what say do the indigenes of Lagos State have in the formulation and implementation of this policy?

A few days the incident was made public, the governor of Lagos State, in person of Governor Babatunde Fashola in a bid to defend himself said just 14 persons were removed (Sahara Reporters). He also said that the people evicted


were vagrants or dissidents, some of them with varying degrees of mental problems and behavioral deficiencies.

A policy that forcibly removes "undesirable" citizens from their states of residency to their states of origin does grave violence to the lives of the affected people and the community they belong to. More pertinent to this research is the fact that the action is a grave violation of the affected citizens' fundamental human rights as enshrined in The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Looking beyond the illegality of this action is our main concern in this thesis. We are looking into the social effects this action has had on the affected indigenes of the Igbo community via the literature that have been written after the event occurred. Also, we look at the impacts that this will have on the present and future generations of Nigeria in the aspect of inter-marriages between various ethnic groups. Inclusively, we hope to examine the under-tones of this policy.

Some people were of the opinion that the action were carried out because the governor of Lagos State considers beautifying of the state more of importance than the lives and the societal inclusion of the affected people. In-as-much we agree that a beautiful environment is a plus to public health; we also need to examine where priorities should be placed. In this case, should it be on the value, respect and dignity of human life or on the environment that the human life does exist or reside in?


Firstly, this study includes enquiries which assess the views of different authors weighed side by side with the kind of society that existed in Lagos state before the eviction, the societal and communal relationships that have been built over a long period of time. In-addition, this study examines the impact of this action on the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigerians in Nigeria. Lastly, this research also includes an enquiry on the arguments that have been raised in some quarters on the illegality of the action, whether it is justifiable or not.


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