Nigerian Citizenship: Meaning, Duties & Obligations
The Meaning of Citizenship
A Citizen is one who belongs to and gives his loyalty to a particular country and who expects protection from such a country. Citizenship on its own is the legal relationship between the individual and the state. The relationship implies performance of duties and obligations on the part of the citizen, provision of social welfare and protection of human rights on the part of the state.
Reasons For Studying Citizenship Education
Citizenship education is very important because of the following reasons:
1. The course goes forward to give the details of Nigeria rule of law to all Nigeria citizens.
2. This course gives us insight into citizenship education, thereby guiding the citizenry and political leadership on the demands of the followership and leadership.
3. It educates Nigeria Citizens on the importance of National ethics, discipline and national development.
4. This course has been drafted to enlighten Nigerian students to have full information on Nigeria political education.
5. It throws more light on the legal relationship between the individual and the state
Meaning of Duty
Duty is what one must do either because of one’s job or because one thinks it is right. In the case of duty to the state, it is mandatory for one to perform such duty for effective governance of the state. Failure to perform one’s duty might lead to some legally recognised sanctions. In order words, duty to the state is a compulsory task, failure of which will attract the wrath of the law.
In this case, it does not need the sanction of one’s conscience as to whether the performance of such duty is right or wrong, but outright compliaince to aviod unpleasant consequence.
These duties are what the citizens owe their states in return for the protection of their rights and liberties.
- Tender assisitances to appropriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law order;
- Declares income honestly to appropriate and lawful agencies and payment of taxes;
- Makes positive contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides;
- Helps to enhance power, prestige and good name of Nigeria, and defend Nigeria and render such national services as may be required, and
- It abide by the constitution, repect its ideals and its institutions, (The National Anthem/Pledge, the National Flag, the Coat of Arms and legitimate authorities)
Obligations Of Citizens
Most political scientists use the term duties and obligation interchange ably, yet the concepts differ in scope and application. Obligation according to ibezim ( 1996:99 ) is defined ” as the feeling of necessity to do something, an appeal to the conscience for such necessity.
He stated that obligation is duty parse, it is not binding on the citizen as the wrath of law can hardly find its way on the culprit, nor can the latter be easily detected. Thus, obligation is duty that has no full force of law backing it. These Obligation include:-
- Respect the head of state and other authorities
- Hospitality to visitors;
- Exercise of voting rights;
- protection and care for public property;
- respect for the chief executives;
- respect for elders and the extended family;
- respect or loyalty to the national symbols, and
- respect for payment of dowry and bride price.
in summary, duties and obligations are those minimum requirements that will ensure state stability and orderliness.
Consequences Of Not Performing Duties & Obligations By Citizens
There are disadvantages or better still consequences if citizens don,t perform their constitutional duties and obligations. They include:
- Lack of orderliness in the state.
- Arrest by the government in authority when laws are broken.
- State of anarchy especially when citizens don’t vote their leaders.
- Lack of development in the state especially when citizens don’t pay taxes.
- State of oppression of the citizens by the government when they don’t speak.