Faces and culture with- Olusegun Ariyo 

                                                 

                                                     

One
thing is pertinent on the eligibility status of those who should have the
franchise right to vote and be voted for all over the world, and they  are those with the status of birth from  origin of 
any given country where every other consideration come’s  along 
with it, aligning  varying policy,
depending on how   such country deems it
fit and worthy before satisfying 
those  requirements for the  issuance of citizenship  status 
for  foreign immigrants  the country 
so desires before any individual can be able to participate in every
activities that include franchise rights. Of voting and be voted But going by
the recent election that took place in the state of Lagos, specifically in badagry
region along Lagos suburb, one wonder if such policy is not obtainable or
whether the countries immigration has never sees it as what is against the best
practice and as part of the enforceable immigration laws of the land. There are
three major reasons of concern about the immigrant’s issue that form the major
thrust of this reports.  In the course of
putting my journalistic instinct to play during the electioneering process that
took place when the presidential, senate and the house representatives’
elections was going on in the said environment I found myself. First,  was large proportions  of temporary residents of aliens that troop
out  to vote in  various polling units within those settlements  that engulfed in a fracas  between 
two parties and were  in
disagreement, with  the  alleged 
foul play by  some  rival party 
which ended in  protest,  and where 
Some of those residents also claimed 
they  have so many of them that
are temporary residents and have made their self’s  bonafide 
citizens all –of –a -sudden, contributing to  the lingering security  threats that is still affecting them,  and are also being used sometimes  as alleged by rival party, to manipulates
results.  Second, the contention of
whether some of them had the right through other statutory policies and law of Nigeria
to have grant them citizenship status and the other question of the absence of
immigration officers in that location who should have helped to identify those
with verifiable and authentic status and for its immigration officials to help
weed out those with falsifications of status, that are causing discrepancies
during the electioneering process. Checks indicates  also, that larger proportion of those alien
had been residence in that community for decades and still are not having any
required residential permit as prerequisite that would have enable  them 
the right  to franchise as the
case may be or  whether there are other
status which would have given them  such
opportunity  where its immigration in
these case, that supposed to identify and authenticate their status as regards
there franchise  are not handy to help
purify the whole process, to which has caused more  harm than good  during the electioneering process. This
harrowing experience shows that neither the aliens nor those inhabitants know
how to manage the whole challenges befalling them, from the foregoing
however,  many believe government still,
is expected to shoulder the option of sending immigration officers to those
area at the instance of distress call to nip such situation on its feet as the
time of filling this report.-Third this issue had attracted so much negative
reaction at the slightest provocation of some section of the divide, and where
those who are perceived to be the real inhabitants have become the butt of
jokes to the aliens. This is particularly so, when observed from the situation
on the ground especially in the time when the election were going on, and where
the other side of the divide was alleged to have been carrying some of those
aliens to all campaign location, accordingly, making them feel like it is
indeed their rights and responsibility to vote as aliens and be voted for. One
of the inhabitants, Mr. Sule komolafe said, intimidation of various kinds
coming from those aliens is now seen as legitimate against the true owners of
this environment, who never seen anything dangerous in whatever their action
were.  He said those  among us who are citizens, but  those that  encourage them are never mindful of its
implication, but instead, are very much interested on  its 
political gain and are less concerned about other  implication it might had cause some of their
people. The real inhabitants had continued to be under siege. Komolafe,
continuing, ‘’this issue had been on social media outlets, all of which are
global platform, this further exposing the countries leadership to global
riddle. Only in Nigeria, where immigration issues are often played with leap
service and our policy makers are not ready to move an inch. When international
republican institute, Mr. Omoruyi Aigbe, an election observer in Ojo local
government saw the situation and its trend, he said every action relating to
these issue of  aliens right to vote must
be trade with caution since its involved national image. He said all these
while, least attention had been given on how to resolve these impasse and allow
for peaceful coexistence among those immigrants and the indigenes  where 
numbers of commentators have either dismissed their permanent stay as
redundant or  that it poses security risk
,having been observed by the citizens them self’s that majority of them do not
have any handy work to engage in, while other had been busy questioning  those that engage them to became partisan all
-of a-sudden ,in another country to which they stands  as immigrants as against its
constitutionality. Omoruyi said ‘’I do not share either of these sentiments,
rather, the Nigerian immigration should up their task first to have an up to
date data of every entry immigrant from its boarders, if you must know, Nigeria
Benin boarder is few kilometer to this destination, the influx of emigration
from our boarders remains porous and that cannot be 
far-fetched on the persistence trend of insurgence with other states  with inter boarder management in the country
that is experiencing all forms of security breach. ‘’Our laws are very clear as
to who can become Nigerian citizen. ‘’The place of birth, where residence whose
immigrant status is still valid as at the time of entry can only claim
temporary residence and with fool restriction to franchise right of that
country as’ ‘’they are immigrants’’ those in the marital engagement has the
right of automatic citizenship of such status whilst those whose residence had
long been in existence without any form of blemish record can also be
recommended to the president for approval. But in these case, majority of those
residing in Ojo local government do not have good grasp of what was required
before engaging aliens and those aliens also do not know where their limitation
ends. ‘’The immigration officers are still not helping in the area of
sensitization and adherence to  its
policies in other to curtain these lingering issues, that is making some of
these aliens feel  its their rights to
vote and be voted for. On the other hand, he said some of the citizens are also
very interested in engaging them for their economic gain not minding other
implication that surrounds it. ‘’The question he raised is; how do we ensure
that adequate measures are taken as well, and where situation of this nature is
nipped in its face,’’ until our immigration function and enforcement policies
become excellent in ensuring strictness of its boarders and up its data, not
until then, those immigrants would not understand the terrain better compared
to their permanent place of birth. ‘’They will 
not have good understanding of what is there reason for coming to
another land, unlike the way they are seeing it as there rights and where those
inhabitant as-well, do not have good understanding, the implication of engaging
aliens in the electioneering process of their country where they will have
lesser interest on what they stand to gain other that what their laws
stipulates when its comes to function and the responsibility of immigrants, he
reintegrated that  every sensitizations
made would help in disseminating the stand of the country’s constitution to
those with temporary residential status , ‘’making everybody understanding
their role and responsibility as temporary residence and citizens of the
country.’’ For instance, it was discovered that majority of those alien speak
Hausa, and where one particular side of Nigeria as country speaks the language,
this make many  here  at present to believe that for everybody  who 
speaks  such  language is from  the northern part of their country, forgotten
that majority of Nigerian neighboring country speaks the same dialect,
making  it  a bit more cumbersome  for 
the southerner here  to
distinguish between those that actually came from other countries  as foreign – immigrants with temporary
residential status with those from the northern part of it country. ‘’Even the
policy of economic community of West African states though did not restrict
movements but there is clearly more distinction on every purpose of emigrating
which usually falls under temporary residence with clear definition of movement
from one origin to destination.

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