BY BUNMI AWOYEMI, Ph.D
Chapter VI, Part I, Section 131 of the 1999 Constitution states “that a person may be qualified for election of the office of the President if:
They are a citizen of Nigeria by birth.”
Atiku is not qualified to be President of Nigeria because he is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth. He does not have locus standi to sue INEC and Buhari because he is not a Nigerian citizen by birth.
Atiku became a Nigerian by referendum at the age of 15. He was born a Cameroonian – Undisuptable Fact.
Premuim Times has confirmed that at the time Atiku was born, his area known as Jeda, his tribe, Chamba were part of Northern Cameroon. This may have explained why he may have had Cameroon inscribed on his body as alleged by Nnamdi Kanu. Premium Times noted that his area of Northern Cameroon voted in a referendum to be part of Nigeria in 1961. This means that Atiku was Cameroonian for the first 15 years of his life but became a Nigerian after the 1961 referendum.
Section 25 of the 1999 constitution outlines what citizenship by birth means and provides:
the “following persons are citizens of Nigeria by birth-namely-
(a) every person born in Nigeria before the date of independence, either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria;
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.
(b) every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria; and
(c) every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria.
(2) In this section, “the date of independence” means the 1st day of October 1960.”
Atiku was not born after the date of Independence. Atiku was born in 1946. None of Atiku’s parents or grand-parents were citizens of Nigeria in 1960 or in 1946 when he was born. None of Atiku’s parents or grandparents were born in Nigeria. Atiku is therefore not a citizen of Nigeria by birth as required by the constitution. Not being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, Atiku should not have been cleared by INEC to run for the office of President of Nigeria.
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