As the number one represents “a whole”, Nigeria since the year 1914 has been called “a” Country. Nigeria consists of 36 States and 774 Local Government Areas. The Country even though has no physical boundaries and limits for participation of any citizen in any legal process, has overwhelming limits and boundaries.
Just as you would think that an Idoma man would be free to actively participate in any political process in Yoruba Land, the reverse is the case. Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides several rights of every citizen of Nigeria. These rights are neither affected, invalidated nor deterred by ethnicity, language, or tribe. Among these rights is a right of ownership of property by a citizen in any part of the Country.
The Silent Clause
Pursuant to the above provision by Nigeria’s grund norm, suffice it to say that the Constitution has given all citizens of Nigeria the right to participate in any legal process in any State of the Country. Albeit, it is a silent atrocity that a Hausa man would think of running for the governorship race in Akwa Ibom State. Literally, a citizen’s right to own a property (a living home, shop, school, hospital, hotel, etc) in any part of Nigeria also means that if I can run any business, no matter how big, in any part of Nigeria, I can also participate in any legal process in that State.
Unconsciously, we have proven inconsiderate of the constitution by letting our individual thoughts and considerations out-way the relevance and aptness of the laws that are supposed to govern us.
The express mention of one thing excludes another
The laws of Nigeria are clear on the issues of freedom of citizens. The laws are also clear on the equality of every citizen of Nigeria in any part of the country. The express mention of “freedom” of participation by citizens, excludes all other issues that relate to inequality and unacceptance of any citizen to participate in any political process.
The laws of Nigeria supersede all other considerations, sentiments, bias, and conspiracies of any tribe, religion, ethnicity, or State.