Borderland, Migration and the Question of National Identity in Nigeria, 1914-1991

Bello Zakariya Abubakar (Ph.D), Tanko A. Adihikon (Ph.D), HamisuSani Ali


Prior to the European conquest of Africa, the area of study was made up of various political entities with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. However, the British colonization and subsequent 1914 amalgamation brought all ethnic nationalities and regions together to form what is now Nigeria. Nevertheless, the nature of political boundaries in Africa separated people with common ethno-religious and political experiences. Thus, most of the people at the borderlands freely migrate to and from Nigeria to neighbouring countries without respect for immigration laws which made it difficult for national identity in the West African sub-region. Therefore, nationalism and independence in Nigeria/Africa have failed to correct such colonial mistakes which made it difficult to address the question of national identity. Above all, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) which was established by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 to address the issue of immigrants is still battling the question of national identity.

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