Classwork Series and Exercises {Government – SS1}: Citizenship

Government SS1 Second Term

Week 3



  1. What is Citizenship?
  2. Application for Citizenship Status
  3. Qualifications needed to apply for Citizenship
  4. Ways of depriving people of their Citizenship
  5. Rights of a Citizen
  6. Duties and Obligations of a Citizen
  7. Limitations to a Citizen’s Right


 Citizenship is the condition or status of being a legally recognized member of the state, being a citizen gives a person rights, duties and obligations.


  1. By Birth: A person is a citizen by birth if either of his parents is a citizen of a country. It can also be explained when a child is born in a particular state i.e. a child born to Nigerian couple in United State is automatically a citizen of the country.
  2. By Nationalization: One can become a citizen of a country through nationalization. This is possible if he can satisfy the constitutional requirements for nationalization.
  3. Marriage or Registration: If a woman is married to a person of another nationality, she can acquire the citizenship of her husband’s country through registration. For example, a Nigerian woman married to a British man or a British woman married to a Nigerian
  4. Dual Citizenship: It is legitimately possible for a person to hold citizenship of two countries. For example, a child born to a Nigerian parent living in the USA becomes a US citizen as well as a Nigerian citizen because the parents are Nigerians
  5. Honorary Citizenship: An individual could be honored with the citizenship of another country. This is made possible if the individual as distinguished him/herself in a particular area could be through academics or by doing something globally beneficial to a country.


  A foreigner can apply for Nigerian citizenship if he or she fulfills the following conditions stated in the 1999 constitution

  1. He must be matured and sane
  2. He should be of good character
  3. He must have shown clearly that he wants to live in Nigeria
  4. The governor of the state which he wants to live must confirm his acceptance to the community
  5. He must have contributed to the development of Nigeria
  6. He must have taken the oath of allegiance to Nigeria
  7. He must have lived in Nigeria continuously for at least 15 years before he making the application or for one year continuously and for a total of 15 years in the previous 20 years.


  1. Through disloyalty: A naturalized citizen can lose his citizenship if his activities are prejudicial to the country’s corporate existence
  2. Supporting Another country: If a citizen is found supporting another country engaged in war with his country, his citizenship may be deprived him
  3. Imprisonment: The individual can also lose his citizenship if within a period of say 5-7 years after of becoming nationalized, he gets involved in a criminal case, resulting in his incarceration for some years.
  4. Treason: The nationalized citizen can equally lose his citizenship, if found guilty of this offence
  5. False Declaration: If there is a fundamental breach of the citizenship agreement binding him e.g false declaration
  6. Renouncement: The individual can lose his citizenship by renouncing it


Fundamental human right means that every individual at birth is endowed with certain rights- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Most of these rights are recognized and entrench in the constitution of most countries. Therefore it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that its citizenship enjoys these rights

   These rights include:

  1. The right to life, security, protection of law and undisturbed access to the court of law
  2. Freedom and protection from slavery and forced labor
  3. The right to vote and to be voted for in any political election
  4. Right to ownership of property and protection from deprivation of property
  5. Freedom of forming and joining any political association
  6. Freedom of movement without any restraints
  7. Freedom from unlawful detention, arrest and torture
  8. Freedom of expression and of the press
  9. Right to education
  10. The right to a fair hearing
  11. Freedom of religion


  1. Independent judiciary which can adjudicate on matters of citizen right infringement
  2. Respect for the rule of law
  3. Free press which can serve as a watch dog against abuse of human rights
  4. Awareness on the part of citizens on their rights
  5. Existence of human right commission
  6. Ruling according to the rule of law
  7. Introduction of programs to enlighten the people


  1. Obedience to the law
  2. Prompt payment on taxes and other compulsory bills
  3. Helping law enforcement agency in exposing and attacking crime
  4. The citizen is expected to appear as a witness in court when summoned to provide evidence
  5. Participating in electoral process to elect public office holder


  1. A citizen has no right to slander another citizen
  2. A citizen who is convicted and imprisoned may lose his voting rights and movements while in prison
  3. A citizen has no right to trespass into another person’s property
  4. Government may restrict citizen’s movement during emergency period e.g. curfew
  5. Citizen may be denied to own some property e.g. weapons of some category
  6. Citizens may be deprived of their lives and this could happen if they take another person’s life and are condemned by court

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