Citizenship can be defined as the total of all the right and principle accorded to all members of a given state. Membership of any state carries with it some right, duties and obligations of its members who are then referred to as citizens. Any other resident of the state who is not included in this category is regarded as an alien.
METHODS OF ACQUIRING CITIZENSHIP
One can acquire the citizen of a state through two major ways namely by birth and naturalization.
CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH
This is the commonest methods of acquiring citizenship. Acquiring citizenship by birth can be categorized in two different ways namely,
By law of blood and descent:
This means that any child whose parents are citizens of a particular state whether or not, he or she is born within the territorial jurisdiction of that state is a citizen of that state e.g. child born by Nigeria parent’s resident in United State.
By law of soil or place:
In this case, any child born within the territorial jurisdiction of a state is automatically a citizen of that state irrespective of the citizenship of the parents of the child.
CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION
Naturalization can be defined as the process of acquiring citizenship through formal legal process. There are four types of naturalization.
In this case, an individual acquire the citizenship of a state after complying with and fulfilling the specified legal process of that state.
Here a child becomes citizen as a result of the parent’s direct naturalization.
Collective naturalization or incorporation of territory:
In this, a group of persons occupying a definite territory acquire the citizenship of a state by either a treaty or statute consequent upon a cession of that territory to that new state.
Formal registration of spouse:
In this case, some states insist that a spouse must first of all renounce the citizenship of her birth before assuming that of her husband.
CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR NATURALIZATION
Many state would require the applicant to have domiciled in the territory for a certain number of years, e.g. in Britain, it is one year, in United States of America it is five years and in Nigeria it is fifteen years.
Some states insist that the applicant must have good command of the language of their citizens.
Most states are mostly concerned about the moral character of the applicant.
Oath of allegiance:
Almost all state insists that the applicant must take an oath of allegiance to the state.
TERMINATION OF CITIZENSHIP
This is the voluntary loss of citizenship on the part of the citizen himself.
De-naturalization, deprivation or revocation:
This is the process by which the state revokes, cancels or withdraws the legal recognition of a naturalized citizen.
Many people especially women lose their citizenship through marriage.
OBLIGATIONS OF CITIZENS
The obligations of citizens includes prompt payment of taxes
Obedience to the law of the state
Defense of the state against internal and external enemies
Upholding the honor and dignity of the state
Paying supreme sacrifice for the state when the need arises
RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
Freedom of worship/religion
Freedom of movement
Right to life
Right to private and family
Freedom of association
Right to vote and be voted for
Right to own moveable and immovable property anywhere in Nigeria
Freedom of expression and the press
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