One Policy That Will Change Nigeria For Good – Abolish “State of Origin” for “State of Residence”

One Policy That Will Change Nigeria For Good – Abolish “State of Origin” for “State of Residence”

To President Buhari: “Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity to be in your presence. I have come here to tell you to build a New Nigeria by working with the National Assembly to abolish “state of origin”. More than 90% of our national problems are connected to that line in our national forms where irrespective of where one has lived, that individual remains tethered to his or her biological ancestral roots.

“Sir, I have a cousin, Kelechi “KC”. He has lived in Katsina state for 33 years. He was born there. His children are all born there also; none speaks Igbo language. I was with them during Christmas: “Katsina is home” and Hausa is the first language. Despite KC’s family connection to Katsina, his children and his entire family will still have to fill Isuikwuato LGA (Abia state) as a local government area of origin in everything in Nigeria. Largely, Nigeria makes it impossible for KC to participate in a community he was born in!

“We need you to change this abnormality of “state of origin” to “state of residence”. Through that mechanism, what would matter is where you live and how many years you have lived there to establish residence. 

“If we build that structure, we will drive to make people see where they live as their eternal community, and that would make them do everything necessary to make it thrive. With this, KC can run for electoral opportunities and explore opportunities like scholarships available in Katsina. The same will happen in Abia state for many people from Kano state who have made Umuahia home for decades.

“Until Nigeria does this, we will continue to underperform and our racial lines will not be blurred. A child named Kunle Abiola, born in Aba (Abia State) by native Ogun state citizens, and whose parents moved to Sokoto after his 12th birthday, but applying for a university admission will simply put state of residence “Sokoto”, with no connection to Abia state or Ogun state. Nigeria will treat him as a citizen of Nigeria, living in Sokoto, enjoying all rights which are available to other kids in Sokoto who have lived at least 3 years to establish residence in that state. Kunle after graduation can move to Enugu, establish residence, and compete for electoral office to represent Enugu state.

It is time for Nigeria to make this leap. Do it and have a legacy because it would make Nigeria better and advance the wellbeing of everyone.” 


(Mitt Romney, a US politician, was born in Michigan state, became a governor of Massachusetts state, and today is a Senator from Utah state. Nigeria needs to make such possible through state of residence, and not state of origin. We need to be Nigerians, and nothing more.)


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9 thoughts on “One Policy That Will Change Nigeria For Good – Abolish “State of Origin” for “State of Residence”

  1. The first question to ask is, why did they insert it in the Constitution? We have been fantastically primitive in this part of the world, even with all the noise about education and exposure; the minds haven’t developed an inch anyway.

    Why is ‘state of origin’ seemingly popular here? Because the architecture of Nigeria was designed to celebrate mediocrity, and ‘state of origin’ gives you that, so that when you fail everywhere else, you can cling to your origin to gain what by every other known standard – is beyond your pitiful existence.

    This is country where the buffoons that identify as ‘elites’ see mass illiteracy as a good thing, because a liberated mind will question their incompetence and sense of judgement; so it becomes super attractive to keep the herds uninformed and uneducated.

    The only country that keeps harping on unity since its inception, yet every step it takes has always been to perpetuate disunity and distrust among its confused citizens. Maybe a form of exorcism might suffice, because the minds are both deformed and debased.

    The only place there is an overwhelming consensus is when it comes to looting Nigeria dry. Funny creatures everywhere.

  2. Prof. Goodwill Ofunne · Edit

    Ndubisi well said! This phrase removed from our national application forms, records, and database would mean that two groups of people will dominate Nigeria. This is because the present situation and other historical factors have taught these two groups, merit, hard work, the value of education, and commitment and resilience, which will be used when the phrase is removed, as criteria for national activities. In Nigeria, only two groups of people are highly aware of trends in the world and have the boldness to go to other groups area to develop it and work and embrace their culture. I am sorry to say that for the rest over 1998 groups this confusing phrase assures them that they are Nigerians. Only time and chance will force a change of the phrase and free Nigeria from the bondage of nepotism and mediocrity. Fortunately growing inter-tribal marriages supported by factors government cannot change is creating a generation of Nigerians that have no tribe but only Naija as their new tribe. Obviously, this process will take a long time for the critical mass and ensemble needed to create the expected change. I will not expect this your proposal to fly in this generation and the next. Endsar struggle and youth diversity of views say it all.

    1. Thanks Prof. We need to move Nigeria 2.0 if we expect to provide opportunities for our young people. Interestingly, with comparative advantages in this Nigeria, across domains, if we become Nigerians instead of tribal lords, on average, we will rise faster as a nation. I have travelled around our nation, and I saw pockets of latent greatness. We must unlock them to have abundance in the future.

  3. One thing I detest about this policy is is claim of being a policy that will change Nigeria for good. Well, it may have been well intended but not a product of organic thinking. Abolishing such policy in paper will not abolish it in our mind nor language.

    The one policy that will overhaul Nigeria is political #Restructuring. Let’s devolve power to components state in a federalist or confederal manner and see if competition and need for survival will not force each state to innovate and develop.

    Devolution of power will bring government and economic activity closer to Nigerians and would make State leaders more accountable because political power is now defined within people of common belief and understanding.

  4. This is apt.It will bring about love and strengthen our unity.
    Kaduna Nzeogwu was not a northerner but his name may have assisted him while coming up…

  5. Good attempt, like someone earlier commented, this state of origin concept is what particular tribes use to gain access to what they should not have. If you observe, you would see that no company has opened refineries away from the sources of crude as has been done in Nigeria. Such decisions still originated from such stupid ideas. These tribes benefit seriously from such concepts. That’s essentially what they target in the Nigerian setting.

  6. Muhammad Attahiru · Edit

    I couldn’t agree more. State of Origin excludes people from participating in the society, and we are by this also denying ourselves opportunities to develop fast. So terrible a system!

  7. You are advocating another avenue for domination. Remember one of the issues that create crises in Jos is that certain people believe that they have leave there for long enough to claim the land as theirs and possible becomes local government chairman or governors but the indigenous people resisted them this resulted ethnic crisis. We have seen in other states where immigrant were welcome only for them to turn around and completely wipe out the indigenous people of hausa tribe and become their lords. Let’s me careful, anytime you see some feudal tribe support and idea you know the have a hidden agenda. They want to use state of residence to take over Pleatue, Benue, Kaduna, Adamawa, Nasarawa etc. Let’s be careful. Can an Igbo man who has leave in Kano for 50 years become the governor? I doubt but you know it’s possible for a Kano man to become the governor of Imo or Abia state through either sell out or electoral manipulation. Take for instance, how difficult it is get land to build a church in the north but how easy it is to allocate land in choice areas for mosque.
    Let’s be careful and consider our peculiar environment not to be compared to advanced and organized nations.


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