Type
Part or chapter of a book
Title
Bureaucracy and the politics of identification in Nigeria. Issuing certificates of indigene and investigating citizens' ancestral origins
In
Identification and Citizenship in Africa. Biometrics, the Documentary State and Bureaucratic Writings of the Self
Author(s)
FOURCHARD Laurent - Centre de recherches internationales (Author)
BARDELLI Nora - Centre de recherches internationales (CERI) (Author)
AWENENGO DALBERTO Séverine - (Publishing director)
BANEGAS Richard - (Publishing director)
Editor
London : Routledge
Pages
185 - 202 p.
ISBN
9781003053293
Keywords
Nigeria, identity papers, citizenship, bureaucracy
Abstract
EN
For 40 years, Nigeria has separated its citizens into two categories, ‘indigenes’ and ‘non-indigenes.’ Indigene citizens can trace their genealogical roots back to a community in a specific locality. All local governments issue certificates of indigene to certify this origin, but the techniques of identification and the definition of the term indigene vary radically from one local government to another. This chapter explores the relationship between local government officers, the chiefs working for them, and users seeking a certificate in Oyo State and Plateau State. This bureaucratic relationship is a form of ordinary state-citizen interaction, yet it redefines an exclusive local citizenship. The chapter seeks to understand how applicants engage with these procedures, how ancestral origins are investigated, and the conditions in which issuing certificates of indigene can become a controversial political issue.

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